Rapid COVID-19 tests coming to state

Rapid COVID-19 tests coming to state

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

More than one million rapid COVID-19 tests will be coming to Alabama from the federal government, Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday.

The Alabama Department of Public Health will receive these shipments in phases during the next few months. The initial shipment will be about 96,000 tests.

The tests are Abbott Laboratories’ BinaxNow, approved last month by the  Food and Drug Administration as the first rapid coronavirus test that doesn’t need any special computer equipment to get results. President Donald Trump and top federal health officials announced this week that millions of the tests would be shipped to states in order to encourage schools to reopen.

Ivey thanked Trump and his administration for Alabama’s allotment of the rapid tests.

“Before we knew much about this novel virus and before we had our first confirmed case in Alabama, President Trump and his Administration have been diligent in providing any additional resources that we needed in our state,” Ivey said in a written statement. “These rapid response tests are going to be a welcome resource as we work to get our students back in the classroom and Alabamians back to work. As we anticipate a successful vaccine in the near future, providing Alabamians – especially our students and vulnerable citizens – with this free resource will be another critical tool in the toolbox to combat COVID-19.”

The 15-minute test sell for $5, giving it a competitive edge over similar tests that need to be popped into a small machine, the Associated Press reported. The size of a credit card, the self-contained test is based on the same technology used to test for the flu, strep throat and other infections.

Since March, more than 1.1 million COVID-19 tests have been given in Alabama, according to the ADPH. There have been 136,549 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 17,000 probable cases. 

On Tuesday, 773 Alabamians were hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms.