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Free at-home COVID test kits handed out to student families across WNY

Superintendent Mike Ginestre says this is part of a districtwide effort to keep kids in school as efficiently and safely as possible.

AMHERST, N.Y. — The effort to keep kids in classrooms is something Governor Kathy Hochul continues to take very seriously, as are school districts.

On Sunday, Sweet Home Central School District joined Williamsville, Lancaster and a few other districts in holding their own COVID-19 test kit distribution program. 

"New York State sent us test kits to cover one for every student here, so we're passing them out, and we're offering to get them in our parents' hands as quickly as possible," superintendent Mike Ginestre says. "It's just an added layer of protection."

With the number of positive cases climbing it's getting increasingly more difficult to control transmission rates.

Not to mention, at-home test kits are also challenging to find.

Karen Burke is a parent in the Sweet Home Central School District and is very happy about the district's decision to do this.

"This is spreading like wildfire," Burke says. "We absolutely need to test our children. Wegmans, Walgreens, even Tops, I had a really hard time, the drive-up locations take two to three hours, they're also expensive, so we're really happy the school was offering these free kits to take home."

Shomari White is also a Sweet Home parent and says, "We just want to keep our kids safe. We appreciate this program, for sure."

Parents with multiple children attending different schools within the district picked up one test at each table representing their child's school.

For those unable to attend Sunday's distribution, Ginestre says, not to worry.

"We'll be putting a test kit in backpacks tomorrow or Tuesday. Our goal is to get one in everybody's hands, every student's hands, by the end of day Tuesday," Ginestre said. "Some districts are doing backpacks, some are doing distribution sites like this. But we're all working hard, I know."

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