The federal government this week touted a plan to send more than 5.8 million point-of-care rapid tests to New York as COVID-19 cases begin to rise once again across the country.
The tests can produce a coronavirus infection diagnosis in as little as 15 minutes and will be distributed by state officials. The tests will be used for K-12 students, teachers, nursing home patients and staff, as well as colleges and those who work as essential first responders.
“To facilitate the continued re-opening of New York 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.”
New York is pursuing a "cluster" strategy of targeting smaller areas in which COVID-19 cases have risen, potentially closing schools and non-essential businesses in a small geographic area rather than a region-wide shut down in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
Heightened COVID-19 cases will also lead the state to send rapid tests to schools. New York typically sees tens of thousands of daily test results.