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$5 rapid Covid-19 tests will be sent to states starting in mid-September, Giroir said

September 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Admiral Brett Giroir, the head of US Covid-19 testing efforts, said Tuesday that the Trump administration will begin to send low-cost antigen tests to states starting in mid-September.

Admiral Brett Giroir, the head of US Covid-19 testing efforts, said Tuesday that the Trump administration will begin to send low-cost antigen tests to states starting in mid-September.

The test costs $5 a piece and Giroir said 48 million a month will be available in the United States.

Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services said his department, along with the US Food and Drug Administration and Abbott Labs, have been working on an inexpensive point of care test that “literally for months. ”

A White House coronavirus task force report sent to officials in the state of Iowa this week warned of dire new case increases across rural and urban areas and called for a mask mandate, the closure of bars, and a plan from universities as the pandemic intensifies in the Midwest.

CNN has obtained the nine-page Aug. 30 report for the state, first reported by the Des Moines Register, from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

There are also concerns, per the task force’s report, about spread in nursing homes, calling the number of nursing homes with more than one resident testing positive “concerning. ”

Admiral Brett Giroir, who’s leading US Covid-19 testing efforts, said Tuesday that while some nursing homes and states have raised concerns about point of care tests not being specifically authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration to test asymptomatic individuals, they should go ahead and use them to test for Covid-19 in congregate settings.

Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said he has heard from nursing care facilities that have been concerned that if they did not perform the more sensitive PCR tests, it be an issue with government regulating authorities.

Giroir said the US Food and Drug Administration has tried to bring some clarity to the issue by putting out a frequently asked questions lists, on Aug. 24, that emphasized that if the more sensitive tests are not feasible to use, health care providers can use these less accurate tests in settings where people live together like nursing homes, even if the tests are not specifically labeled for this purpose.

Giroir also issued guidance Monday to extend coverage to licensed health care practitioners who prescribe or administer these tests in facilities like nursing homes, long-term care facilities and other group settings like schools and workplaces.

The guidance, he said, pre-empts state and local laws that may prohibit licensed health care practitioners from administering FDA-authorized Covid-19 tests to symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in these settings.

Admiral Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Tuesday he doesn’t want to answer any more questions about when every American can quickly and cheaply get a Covid-19 test.

The assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, who is leading Covid-19 testing efforts, said that the country now has a “huge diversity” of tests, including a $5 point of care test that provides results within 15 minutes.

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