Federal government sending more than 1.5 million COVID-19 tests to South Carolina

Federal government sending more than 1.5 million COVID-19 tests to South Carolina
HHS officials said the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care antigen tests can diagnose coronavirus infection in as little as fifteen minutes. (Source: AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is sending 1,550,000 COVID-19 tests to South Carolina.

HHS officials said the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care antigen tests can diagnose coronavirus infection in as little as fifteen minutes.

Government officials said the tests will be distributed at the discretion of Gov. Henry McMaster 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.

In addition, HHS officials said over 379,000 COVID-19 rapid tests have already been sent directly to congregate care facilities such as South Carolina nursing homes, assisted living facilities and to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the state.

“As of October 26 over 756,000 BinaxNOW tests have been shipped to South Carolina,” HHS officials said.

“To facilitate the continued re-opening of South Carolina 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.

Giroir 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," Giroir said.

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