More COVID-19 tests coming to Alabama

atertown's Samaritan Medical Center has rolled out rapid testing for COVID-19
atertown's Samaritan Medical Center has rolled out rapid testing for COVID-19
Updated: Oct. 27, 2020 at 7:13 AM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - 1,470,000 BinaxNOW Covid-19 tests are coming to Alabama.

The FDA authorized diagnostic test does not require any instrumentation to test the samples. Instead, it determines a Covid-19 negative or positive result using a test card.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, the rapid point antigen tests can diagnose coronavirus infection in 15 minutes.

Schools and nursing homes are just a few of the places that the test will be distributed across the state.

Already over 415 thousand covid-19 rapid tests have been sent to Alabama, and as of Monday, 759 thousand BinaxNOW tests have been shipped.

“By having more test kits coming into the state, it’s going to be a good thing whether you’re running a lab test a point of care machine or the quick test cards, any type of test is helpful,” spokesperson of Alabama Nursing Home Association John Matson.

While some nursing facilities will use the BinaxNOW test, facilities like Capitol Hill Health and Rehabilitation uses the PCR test.

These tests detect an antigen’s presence and can tell whether someone has the virus very early on.

“The more quickly we can identify those patients, the quicker we can treat them appropriately,” VP of Business Development for Capitol Hill Health and Rehabilitation Sharon Baker said.

Even with more testing becoming available, officials say it will take more help from the community by wearing face coverings and using proper hygiene to prevent more Covid-19 cases in the state.

“The more we can drive down the rate of COVID-19 in the community, the more we will drive down the rate of Covid-19 in nursing homes,” Matson said.

The US Health and Human Services Department has provided over 11 million rapid points of care tests to nursing homes.

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