Plymouth County sends 360,000 rapid test kits to cities, towns

·2 min read

PLYMOUTH – Plymouth County is distributing 360,000 rapid COVID-19 test kits to all of its cities and towns after a need for testing supplies was identified by leaders across the county.

"A number of community leaders and legislators felt as though their communities were not receiving enough kits," Plymouth County Treasurer Thomas O'Brien said.

Plymouth County used moneyfrom a $91 million CARES Act appropriation, as well as money it had set aside for county-wide use, to pay $2.5 million for the test kits.

O'Brien said the county originally ordered 500,000 test kits, but 140,00 of the kits were commandeered by the federal government, leaving the county with 360,000. Each kit contains two tests. Cities and towns picked up the test kits on Thursday and Friday.

How to: You've ordered a COVID-19 test kit. What do you do with it?

The kits are being distributed based on population. Brockton will get most, 33,300 kits, and the county's smallest town, Plympton, will get 1,080.

Duxbury Fire Capt. Brian Monahan (left), former state rep. Jim Cantwell and Plymouth County Commissioner Jared Valanzola hold cartons of rapid COVID-19 test kits. Duxbury received 5,580 kits, with two tests each.
Duxbury Fire Capt. Brian Monahan (left), former state rep. Jim Cantwell and Plymouth County Commissioner Jared Valanzola hold cartons of rapid COVID-19 test kits. Duxbury received 5,580 kits, with two tests each.

O'Brien said he thought the county got a good deal on the kits, iHealth Rapid Tests, at $6.30 each.

The county was able to get so many tests because they placed their order early, putting them at the front of the line, he said.

Town and city government leaders early on identified the need for tests, because many did not receive any from the state, which sent out 2 million tests to 102 cities and towns in early December, which included Brockton, Quincy, Randolph, Rockland and Halifax.

A man moves boxes of rapid COVID-19 test kits designated for Halifax, and purchased by Plymouth County, on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022.
A man moves boxes of rapid COVID-19 test kits designated for Halifax, and purchased by Plymouth County, on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022.

Marshfield Town Administrator Mike Maresco said many of the tests will likely be used at emergency shelters opened for the incoming winter storm, but the town is still working out how many to distribute to households and businesses, and how many to hold onto.

"This has been wonderful and it's a great idea by the county commission and Tom O'Brien," Maresco said. "They've done great by the town."

Testing supplies were at the top of the wish list for most town leaders when they met with county officials, he said.

Plymouth County purchased 360,000 of the iHealth rapid COVID-19 tests, to be distributed to its cities and towns.
Plymouth County purchased 360,000 of the iHealth rapid COVID-19 tests, to be distributed to its cities and towns.

County Commissioner Jared Valanzola, of Rockland, said the decision to buy the kits was an easy one to make.

"We had some funds that towns didn't spend still left, so it seemed like the perfect way to close out the program," he said.

Other town distributions are:

  • Abington, 5,760 kits

  • Carver, 4,140 kits

  • Duxbury, 5,580 kits

  • Halifax, 2,790 kits

  • Hanover, 5,040 kits

  • Hanson, 3,780 kits

  • Hingham, 8370 kits

  • Hull, 3,690 kits

  • Kingston, 4,680 kits

  • Marshfield, 9,000 kits

  • Norwell, 3,8701 kits

  • Pembroke, 6,480 kits

  • Plymouth, 21,150 kits

  • Rockland, 6,300 kits

  • Scituate, 6,570 kits

  • Whitman, 5,310 kits

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Reach reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at wcowperthwaite@patriotledger.com.

This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Plymouth County distributes 360,000 rapid test kits to cities, towns