The new year is bringing no relief from a surge in COVID-19 cases. The focus is turning to constant testing, but municipalities are having difficulty finding test kits. The state is trying to help.
Here is a list of the Guidance referenced in this Alert:
December 29, 2021 Operational Services Division Guidance on COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Kits through Statewide Contracts
Q. Help! We and our constituents need COVID-19 testing kits and none can be found. What can we do?
A. The Commonwealth purchased over 2 million rapid antigen testing kits that it is distributing free of charge to municipalities that have the highest percentage of families below the poverty level. However, the Commonwealth has statewide contracts with vaccine manufacturers and distributers to be used now by municipalities to purchase test kits that can then be given free to the municipalities' residents. The link above contains hyperlinks to the contracts with the distributers as well as links to statewide contracts for ancillary goods, such as for tents and fencing.
Q. We would like to take advantage of the statewide contracts to purchase test kits. How can we pay for them?
A. Every municipality received federal funds under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA funds may be used to purchase testing kits and ancillary needs. ARPA funds need not be appropriated by Town Meeting to be expended. The Select Board may authorize the expenditure.
Q. Is the Commonwealth offering any other assistance to purchase test kits?
A. Yes! On this Thursday, January 6, 2022, from 1:00 to 1:45 pm, the OSD will hold a Webinar entitled "Best Practices for Ordering COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Kits from Statewide Contracts." You must preregister. The link above contains a link to the registration form.
Please contact us as further questions arise.
We are here to help.