JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Trump Administration announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is sending 890,000 state-of-the-art Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care antigen tests to Mississippi.
The rapid point of care tests, which can diagnose coronavirus infection in as little as fifteen minutes, will be distributed at the discretion of Governor Tate Reeves 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.
As of October 26 over 398,000 BinaxNOW tests have been shipped to Mississippi.
“To facilitate the continued re-opening of Mississippi 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.”
Mississippi provided HHS a detailed plan for their BinaxNOW distribution, including detail on providing tests to sheltering operations in response to hurricanes and are also focusing on state Veterans Affairs homes not licensed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to administer tests. They are currently testing in six locations and plan to eventually expand testing from once per week, to twice per week, four times per week, and ultimately daily testing in most counties by the week of November 9.