Rapid COVID-19 tests coming to Tennessee, along with a few questions

News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two million doses of a rapid COVID-19 test called BinaxNow are expected in Tennessee by the end of this year, but they come with few questions for top state officials.

“We’ll spend the majority of the rest of the week and into next determining distribution methodology,” said Tennessee Dept. of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey.

After a White House demonstration of the test that’s headed to all 50-states, getting the Abbott product to where its needed is a top priority for Tennessee.

“So that…we will know how to use these tests most effectively in our state,” said Governor Bill Lee at his weekly COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.

He added that the rapid COVID-19 test will be used mostly in Tennessee’s K-12 schools.

The governor’s health commissioner seems sold on the test, which will arrive in increments beginning with 133,000 doses next week.

“These are done in the field,” said Commissioner Piercey. “They don’t require any equipment. Don’t require any machinery.”

Training to use a card and a less invasive nose swab must also be figured out, but the health department commissioner believes the rapid COVID test brings results in a few minutes rather than days or weeks, like current tests.

Dr. Piercey also touted the price.

“These are about five to six dollars a piece, compare that to a traditional swab which is 100-dollars a piece,” she said at Tuesday’s briefing with the governor.

The commissioner added the Federal Drug Administration said the rapid tests are 97-percent effective–“higher than anything else right now on the market.”

Governor Lee indicated the rapid COVID tests could also be used in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus COVID-19 videos

Biden slams Trump for 'knowingly' lying on COVID

McEnany: Trump 'never lied' to the public on COVID

Trump bemoans virus restrictions in North Carolina

University of Tennessee relocating Massey Hall residents to make room for COVID-19 self-isolation cases

Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports 100 new cases, 157 new inactive cases

Knox County Health Dept. says plan in place for vaccine distribution

UT Chancellor: Some dodging COVID-19 precautions

Two Tennessee women participating in a COVID-19 vaccine study

Tennessee teachers asking for more safety measures

State launching COVID-19 schools dashboard

Knox County Health Dept.: Numbers reflect new timeframe for inactive cases

Clinton High School cancels next 2 weeks of games due to virus

UT chancellor: Fraternities trying to avoid COVID-19 precautions

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter

WATE 6 Storm Weather School