Government details plans to distribute Abbott’s POC test

Sept. 30, 2020

The federal government plans to distribute 150 million Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card POC SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests to state governments and local organizations, according to a press release from the White House.

Specifically, 50 million will go to vulnerable communities, including 18 million for nursing homes, 15 million for assisted living facilities, 10 million for home healthcare and hospice organizations, and nearly 1 million for historically black colleges and universities and tribal nation colleges. In addition, 100 hundred million tests will be sent to states and territories.

The distribution plans for the test, which were announced at the White House, followed a previous announcement in August in which the Department of Health and Human Services said it had signed a $760-million contract to purchase the Abbott tests.

To administer the Abbott antigen test, a technician opens the test card, lays it flat on a countertop, and adds an extraction agent to the card. A nasal swab is taken from the patient, the technician inserts the swab into the test card and folds over the cover, according to Abbott. The test delivers results in 15 minutes or less.

By downloading an optional Abbott mobile app, people who test negative can get a temporary encrypted digital health pass that displays their results, Abbott said.

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