HHS sends point-of-care tests to public health labs

April 7, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is purchasing the ID NOW COVID-19 rapid point-of-care test, developed by Abbott Diagnostics Scarborough, for state, territorial and tribal public health labs, HHS said.

The ID NOW COVID-19 test is performed on the ID NOW device and gives results in under 13 minutes. The test also uses minimal personal protective equipment (PPE) because only gloves and a facemask are necessary to administer this rapid point-of-care test, HHS said.

HHS is providing these tests and devices to public health labs (PHLs) in every state and territory, and Washington, D.C. In addition, the Indian Health Service will receive tests and devices to distribute to selected IHS and tribal locations. HHS also is procuring ID NOW COVID-19 tests and devices for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).

The International Reagent Resource (IRR), operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will procure additional tests each week to support requests from public health labs.

In addition to supplying HHS, Abbott is producing 50,000 ID NOW COVID-19 rapid point-of-care tests per day to supply the commercial market.

"This type of rapid, point-of-care test is a critical component of our overall national strategy for testing. It is a special resource that we will prioritize for vulnerable patients whose treatment or isolation require a rapid determination of COVID-19 status, or for outbreak investigations where an immediate result is essential," said Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD.

On March 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Abbott Diagnostics Scarborough for their ID NOW COVID-19 diagnostic platform (device and consumable test materials) for detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in nasal, nasopharyngeal or throat swabs.

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