Ridgefield schools distribute extra COVID-19 test kits to students before holiday break

A school bus heads towards Ridgefield High School on Thursday afternoon at the end of the school day.  

A school bus heads towards Ridgefield High School on Thursday afternoon at the end of the school day.  

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

RIDGEFIELD — The Ridgefield public school district sent home COVID-19 test kits with children over winter break, due to an excess supply.

"We're sending home the test kits, that will soon expire," said school superintendent Susie Da Silva. "Given that the holiday season is a time where many folks join together, we believe it was a good opportunity to have extra tests at home for families."

She said the state of Connecticut had provided the district with an "abundance" of the kits.

After this week's distribution of tests to students, Ridgefield Public Schools will have 900 test kits left in storage, not including the supply the school nurses are keeping in their offices, said Aaron Crook, Ridgefield Public Schools' director of nursing services COVID-19 health and safety compliance liaison. "Each kit contains two tests."

The kits were distributed to classrooms for teachers to place in elementary school children's backpacks. They were also be made available to middle and high school students to take home as well. Families who need additional kits are encouraged to contact the district.

Crook added many of the kits are expiring in January. The expiration dates on the kits have been extended by six months by the Food and Drug Administration. For example, if the expiration date says July 2022, the actual expiration date is January 2023.

"At this point, we don't know if the state will be providing any additional test kits when these expire," Da Silva said.

She added, however the district has been seeing other conditions, aside from COVID-19 this winter, such as the flu.

"We just want people to be as healthy as possible and enjoy the extended break and come to school on Jan. 3 healthy," she said.