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State's 500,000 COVID-19 test kit deal falls through, causing delays

The first phase of Gov. Ned Lamont’s promised 3 million at-home COVID-19 test kits will not make its way to Connecticut as expected. State officials had said Wednesday night that supply chain issues grounded the shipment of tests, but they later confirmed Thursday evening that a purchase deal fell through.

Lamont told reporters Thursday night in East Hartford that the test wholesaler did not make good on a purchase agreement with the state, but he said tests will be coming.

“We have alternative places, we’re going to start delivering rapid tests as soon as this weekend,” said Lamont, adding that the state will make up for the shortfall on the failed order for 500,000 test kits “fast.”

State officials said a purchase order was agreed on, and the wholesaler told them on a conference call that tests were being transferred from pallets, ready to go into the back of a plane.

Lamont told reporters that was a misrepresentation by the company, which he declined to name.

Cassandra Basler is a radio reporter and editor at Connecticut Public. She has covered juvenile justice, the opioid crisis, immigration, social justice and inequity. You can find her reporting in New Haven and Fairfield counties. She previously worked at WSHU Public Radio and her work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Here & Now.
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