Ridgefield to distribute thousands of COVID test kits this weekend

RIDGEFIELD — More than 10,000 COVID-19 test kits will be handed out at Scotts Ridge Middle School this weekend. The distribution will be open to Ridgefield residents only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Drivers are asked to enter the site from Ridgebury Road via the high school parking lot, where they will follow signage to pick up kits at the middle school. Drivers will then exit the site via North Salem Road.

Police officers and volunteer fire police will be on site to direct traffic while volunteers from the town’s Community Emergency Response Team physically distribute the kits.

Two at-home test kits will be given per family, with one family allowed per vehicle. The Office of Emergency Management is asking residents who have already received kits not to participate. If extras are available they will be distributed at a later date, according to a release.

“If you’re gonna come get a test kit to put on the shelf, just in case, we rather you didn’t do that,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.

Last week, the Board of Selectmen declared a local state of emergency in order to activate Community Emergency Response Team volunteers. The declaration provides liability coverage to members who have been busy distributing kits to community members around town.

The town received more than 17,000 rapid test kits last week, which were purchased from Florida to distribute to residents through various outlets. While the Board of Finance will ultimately determine how to expense the $340,000 purchase, it’s likely to come from the town’s American Rescue Plan funds, Marconi said.

About 7,000 kits have already been distributed through the local clergy association, Meals on Wheels, the Casagmo Condominium Association and the Ridgefield Housing Authority. Those interested in assisting with future distributions are asked to call the first selectman’s office at 203-431-2774.

“We would appreciate it,” Marconi said.

Ridgefield’s COVID test positivity rate was 16 percent on Tuesday.

Despite high vaccination levels, the town’s current case rate is much higher than last year because of the dominance of the omicron variant, according to an analysis from data scientist Rick Lawrence, who sits on the town’s COVID-19 task force.

The latest state data shows that omicrons represents almost 92 percent of sequenced specimens.

“The omicron variant is at its peak right now,” Marconi said. “Many … medical professionals are looking at the possibility of a plateau for the next week or so and then a general decline, which hopefully will be as rapid as the incline.”

While some towns and cities have re-instituted a mask mandate, Ridgefield is continuing to follow state recommendations, which asks people to voluntarily wear proper face coverings in all public indoor spaces.

Ridgefield is providing rapid testing at Yanity Gym for residents and non-residents on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment only. For more information visit www.ridgefieldct.org.