Wilton plans COVID-19 test distribution for New Year’s Eve

Photo of J.D. Freda

WILTON — After Gov. Lamont’s announcement of more than 500,000 at-home COVID testing kits being made available to municipalities and 2,340 being allocated to the town, officials will hosting a drive-thru pickup for residents on New Year’s Eve.

The pickup will take place Friday at Miller Driscoll School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., “or as long as supplies last,” Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said on Tuesday.

Each vehicle will have to provide proof of Wilton residency at the site and there will be a limit of up to three at-home testing kits per vehicle. Vanderslice said the town is asking that only residents who currently need a test should attend and request them.

“If you don’t currently need a kit, we ask that you not attend,” Vanderslice stated in a news release on Tuesday.

Vehicles should enter through the Belden Hill Road entrance and follow the directions of the on-site CERT volunteers, under the instruction of Chief of Police and Emergency Management Director John Lynch.

“These kits are being distributed to help reduce the acceleration of the spread of the virus,” Vanderslice said. “As the number of procured test kits is a fraction of the state’s population, these kits are prioritized for residents who need a test now and can’t find one. This includes those who have a known exposure or are symptomatic, followed by residents who require a test to return to work or to travel.”

To further halt the elevated transmission of COVID-19 among town employees, Vanderslice said that the town will be enforcing a mask requirement, effective Wednesday and until further notice, while inside any municipal building regardless of vaccination status.

These buildings include Town Hall, the Annex, police headquarters, fire headquarters, Fire Station 2 and the Comstock building.

“I want to clarify the mask mandate has been put in place to ensure adequate staffing levels, as many town employees can’t perform their job from home or can’t perform it as effectively from home,” Vanderslice said.

She noted this is a very different scenario than their previous stretches of requiring masks in Wilton’s municipal buildings.

“This is not last year when we were concerned about both staffing levels and the health risks to the entire employee population that wasn’t vaccinated,” she said. “The significant majority of town employees have been fully vaccinated and thus are at no to very small risk to their health.”

January is a time of “many critical, statutorily required functions,” she explained, and staffing numbers need to be high in times of potential winter storms.

For residents who are medically unable to wear a mask, the town is asking that that they contact the specific department they need and arrange for either a special entry into the building or for an alterante service delivery method. Proof of exemption will be required.