DHHS: 920,000 rapid COVID-19 tests sent to Nevada

Coronavirus

This image provided by Abbott Laboratories shows the company’s BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 nasal swab test. After months of struggling to ramp up coronavirus testing, the U.S. is now capable of testing some 3 million people daily thanks to a growing supply of rapid tests. But the testing boom comes with a new challenge: keeping track of the results. (Abbott Laboratories via AP)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is sending 920,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to Nevada.

The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care antigen tests can diagnose coronavirus infection in as little as 15 minutes.

They will be distributed at the discretion of Governor Steve Sisolak 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, the DHHS noted in a press release Monday. 

As of October 26, over 307,000 BinaxNOW tests have been shipped to Nevada, and many have gone directly to congregate care settings, such as nursing homes. 

In preliminary feedback, Nevada has proposed the following breakdown of the BinaxNOW distribution by the state:

  • 15% to the Department of Corrections,
  • 50% to K-12 schools,
  • 15% to skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities that have not received direct shipments of tests from HHS
  • Remaining 20% will be sent to Community and Tribal Health Clinics

Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir, MD pointed out that the public should still continue avoiding crowded indoor spaces, washing hands and wearing a mask when not able to physically distance because testing does not serve as a substitute for these health measures.

“Combining personal responsibility with smart testing is a foundational pillar of the Administration’s national testing strategy,” Giroir said.

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