Johnston officials, Governor McKee hand out thousands of COVID test kits to residents

"No one is responding stronger than the state of Rhode Island relative to this pandemic. And this is evidence today. Take a look at the cars that are coming in here. This is a sense of community, it's not a sense of panic, it's a sense of community," the Governor exclaimed.

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WLNE)- Governor Dan McKee joined Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena Saturday morning to hand out free COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits.

The drive-thru event was held from 10 a.m. to noon at Johnston High School and was limited to Johnston residents.

Residents in cars wrapped around the high school parking lot, trickling onto Cherry Hill Road.

Mayor Joseph Polisena told ABC6 News he was impressed with how smoothly the massive event went.

“It’s been going very, very well,” he explained. “I think this will give people piece of mind.”

Nearly 8,000 test kits were handed out to thousands of residents. Many, had theirs handed to them by the Governor himself.

“No one is responding stronger than the state of Rhode Island relative to this pandemic. And this is evidence today. Take a look at the cars that are coming in here. This is a sense of community, it’s not a sense of panic, it’s a sense of community,” the Governor exclaimed.

Police Chief Joseph Razza increased police presence to monitor the traffic, and keep the cars moving steadily.

“The Governor is passing them out, he’s doing his fair share of work along with Mayor Polisena,” said the Chief. “It’s just another fantastic day here in Johnston.”

Residents in line told ABC6 they only waited minutes, and traffic ran smoothly.

“It’s going great nice and fast,” resident Joseph Comella told ABC6 News. “They’re taking care of the people. They got it very well organized. That’s why I came, I said, it can’t be that bad and it’s moving great.”

The town began their test kit rollout Wednesday, delivering them to elderly residents in nursing homes. Thursday, town officials handed them out to residents in congregate settings such as group homes.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island