May 17, 2022

Roberge Says Successful Hand-out of COVID-19 Tests was “Team Effort,” Thanks all Involved for “Support, Patience, Kindness”

Cars in line at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School wait patiently yesterday afternoon to pick up state-funded, free COVID-19 tests.

OLD LYME — Although holding many reservations about holding a drive-through event to pick up the highly anticipated COVID-19 self-tests finally delivered by the state, Old Lyme Director of Emergency Management David Roberge ended up pleased with its outcome. He commented cheerfully in a phone call to LymeLine after the 180 test kits received had been distributed Sunday afternoon in the space of an hour and a half, “It all went very smoothly.”

Vehicles were lined up in front of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School well before the official 3 p.m. start time of the event and using an efficient system of checking ID’s and having several people handing out tests simultaneously, 90 test kits were handed out in the first 10 minutes. Things then slowed down a little and the remaining 90 were gone by 4:30 p.m.

Old Lyme Visiting Nurse Association volunteers Sarah Gleason (left) and Cindi Taylor prepare to hand out COVID-19 test kits to Old Lyme residents in need.

Noting that the Old Lyme Office of Emergency Management had successfully distributed 180 COVID test kits to  residents in need, Roberge noted, “While we did not yet have enough test kits for all, (he was expecting a delivery of 3,000 rather than the 550 received) we are grateful that we did have those on hand to share.”

He had nothing but praise for all involved, saying, “We wish to thank the Old Lyme Police Department, the selectmen from town hall  along with the Old Lyme Visiting Nurses Association (OLVNA) and Lyme’s Youth Services Bureau (LYSB) for assisting in the distribution.” Both Selectman Matt Ward and Selectwoman Martha Shoemaker were on hand to assist with the effort. (First Selectman Tim Griswold was out of state on a prearranged trip) as were representatives of Old Lyme’s VNA and LYSB.

Roberge also expressed his thanks to, “Our social media specialists and LymeLine for sharing the most current and dated information during this event. Their help made the event go very quickly and efficiently.”

Finally, he gave what he described as his “biggest thank-you” to all the residents, who came out to pick up their test kits, saying, “Their patience and cooperation while waiting in the long line allowed the distribution go very smoothly without any altercations.”

Looking to the future, Roberge commented, “As the state is in the process of obtaining additional test kits, we look forward to providing the same high level of service for future distributions.”

He concluded, “I thank you for all your support, patience and kindness during the afternoon. It was truly a team effort pulled together at very short notice,”

Roberge also took the opportunity to repeat his ongoing message to the community, saying, “As we continue to navigate this pandemic, please carry on taking precautions, and above all, stay safe.”

Olafur, Director of Emergency Management David Roberge’s dog, carefully guards the precious cargo!

The response to the event has been overwhelmingly positive with several residents expressing their thanks on social media to all who made the event a reality. Gail Najarian also spoke for many when she wrote in a comment on LymeLine,”I was quite apprehensive about going out but was so impressed how orderly the distribution went. Thank you everyone who made this possible.”

Editor’s Note: We would be remiss if we did not extend our sincere thanks to David Roberge himself for all his efforts in organizing this event. We look forward to supporting future distributions with timely communications.


  1. William Folland says

    Was the first come first serve hand-out of the limited supply of covid tests a good decision, I think not. With the oncoming surge of expected infections a more selective handout of tests would have resulted in identifying people at risk.

  2. Thomas D. Gotowka says

    Regardless of whether or not you received a test kit on Sunday afternoon, it is important that we all heed Mr. Roberge’s advice; i.e., “as we continue to navigate this pandemic, please carry on taking precautions…”
    I’ll expand a little bit on that. Keep in mind that this is a respiratory disease and can be transmitted through airborne droplets; even after a sneeze.
    The basics haven’t changed much over the past several months; so, be prudent, and always wear a mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Further, avoid crowded places, very large gatherings, and try to maintain a “social distance” of 6 feet from other people.
    Finally, be patient, our public health and medical professionals are learning as we all proceed through this pandemic. New variants will likely continue to emerge and updated rules of the “safe” road will be released.

  3. Please tell me what website to go to in order to receive notification of the availability of test kits. We were completely unaware of this past weekend’s event. Also, what were the requirements for obtaining a test kit, other than being a resident of Old Lyme? Thanks for your help.

    • Barbara mckee says

      I am need a kit as i have been in close contact with a sick person. I did not hear about the program sunday.i am high on the list of vulnerable people. 89 parkinsons high blood pressure and cancer remission

  4. Karen Geisler says

    I feel the same way about the notification, of lack of one. We received a call on the Old Lyme Resident Call List alerting us that the shipment of the tests were delayed, but no follow up call alerting us they had been received and were being handed out. There should have been a follow up call to all residents. We need to apply consistency in notification about this pandemic in fairness to all residents. The information was on the town website when I looked after I heard the tests were already distributed. I don’t go to the town website daily, so I missed the announcement. I’m sure many other folks from town did, as well.

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