Department of Health and Human Services sending Minnesota nearly 1.7 million COVID-19 antigen tests

The Department of Health and Human Services announced today that they are sending 1,690,000 Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care antigen tests to Minnesota.

According to a release from HHS, the rapid point of care tests can diagnose COVID-19 infection in as little as 15 minutes and will be distributed at the discretion of Gov. Walz to K-12 students, teachers, nursing home patients and staff, higher education, critical infrastructre, first responders and other priorities as deemed fit.

Newly authorized COVID-19 test gives results in minutes and costs $5

In preliminary feedback, the State of Minnesota has shared they have so far shipped 400,000 BinaxNOW tests to long term care facilities and plan to pilot the use of tests in K-12 population through pediatric offices. Institutes of higher education will have tests in their clinics and will run molecular tests at the same time. The state is also considering use with first responders and at Opioid Treatment Centers.

Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, 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.”