By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is sending 1,730,000 COVID-19 antigen tests to Colorado. The Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and can deliver results in 15 minutes or less.

BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Point of Care (POC) SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests (credit: Abbott)

The Trump Administration has shipped more than 83,000 COVID-19 rapid tests to Colorado nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to HHS officials. Since the pandemic began, more than 488,000 BinaxNOW tests have been shipped to Colorado.

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“To facilitate the continued re-opening of Colorado 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.”

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HHS officials said Colorado will likely partner with pharmacies to facilitate testing. The system uses a nasal swab and strip that can detect COVID-19 and other viruses.

State officials indicated to HHS officials that they would send tests to youth correction facilities and public health agencies to test homeless populations. Gov. Jared Polis will also decide how to divide the tests among students, teachers and first responders.

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In August, the Trump Administration awarded a $760 million contract to the test manufacturer, Abbott, for delivery of 150 million of the tests across the United States. You can find more information about the tests on the HHS website.

Audra Streetman