Tennessee To Receive 2,050,000 BinaxNOW Rapid COVID-19 Tests

Monday, October 26, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is sending 2,050,000 state-of-the-art Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care antigen tests to Tennessee. The rapid point of care tests, which can diagnose coronavirus infection in as little as 15 minutes, will be distributed at the discretion of Governor Bill Lee to support testing K-12 students, teachers, nursing home patients and staff, higher education, critical infrastructure, first responders, and other priorities as he deems fit.

Over 375,000 COVID-19 rapid tests have been shipped directly to congregate care settings such as Tennessee nursing homes, assisted living facilities and to historically black colleges and universities in the state. As of Monday, 864,000 BinaxNOW tests have been shipped to Tennessee.

“To facilitate the continued re-opening of Tennessee schools, businesses and economy, the Trump Administration has prioritized scaling up the state’s point of care testing capacity by making this $760 million national investment in BinaxNOW tests,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir, MD. “Distributing these rapid tests directly to states is consistent with the Trump Administration’s successful, ongoing approach of testing the right person, with the right test at the right time, is working and the effort will continue until the pandemic is under control.”

In preliminary feedback, the State of Tennessee shared they will deploy tests for use by first responders and are working out details to provide BinaxNOW to county homes, VA homes, correctional facilities and for K-12 school testing.

Dr. Giroir pointed out that testing does not substitute for avoiding crowded indoor spaces, washing one’s hands, or wearing a mask when not able to physically distance. “Combining personal responsibility with smart testing is a foundational pillar of the Administration’s national testing strategy.”

The Federal government purchased Abbott BinaxNOW diagnostic tests on Aug. 27 to ensure equitable distribution of the first 150 million units – one day after an Emergency Use Authorization was issued by the Food and Drug Administration – to ensure they would be expeditiously distributed to vulnerable populations as quickly as possible. Now that initial distribution of these tests to all 50 states and the District of Columbia is well underway, it ensures the nation’s governors will not have to compete for the initial BinaxNOW shipments, or waste time to set up individual purchasing contracts with the manufacturer, said officials.

HHS has also provided all CLIA-certified nursing homes over 11 million rapid point of care tests, this includes Abbott BinaxNOW FDA-authorized antigen diagnostic tests and either a Quidel Sofia 2 or Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) Veritor Plus System instrument(s) with associated tests.
 


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