The Trump administration will start to distribute millions of coronavirus tests this week and recommend the governors use them so that schools can reopen, officials announced at the White House Monday.
Adm. Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said in a press briefing that the Trump administration will distribute 6.5 million tests this week along with “continuing support to other priorities, like nursing homes,” according to a transcript of the event.
Giroir said the governors can decide how to use the tests, but the administration recommends they use the tests for places that especially need the “rapid, low tech, point-of-care tests,” such as K-12 schools.
“And it’s important to remember that as younger and healthier people return to work, and as we massively increase testing capacity, we will identify more cases and asymptomatic individuals in low-risk populations,” President Donald Trump said at the briefing. (RELATED: Trump Strikes Deal To Secure 150 Million COVID-19 Rapid Tests For Schools And Nursing Homes)
“This should not cause undue alarm. The total number of cases is not the full metric of success. Hospitalization capacity and mortality rates are far more instructive metrics,” Trump said.
“One hundred million rapid point-of-care tests will be given to states and territories to support efforts to reopen their economies and schools immediately and fast as they can,” Trump said.
The president noted increased testing will lead to more confirmed positive cases.
“We are relentlessly focused on protecting the vulnerable while enabling healthy Americans to go back to work. We can do both as Florida, Arizona, and other states have recently shown,” the president said.
President Donald Trump is expected to announce the shipment of millions of rapid coronavirus tests to states this week https://t.co/VPUc21dH6Z
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) September 28, 2020
A White House official told the Daily Caller News Foundation that “The amount of BinaxNOW tests being distributed will allow every teacher in every state to be tested weekly, with additional tests remaining for symptomatic children.”
“Therefore, a baseline testing strategy in K-12 schools can easily be established. If teachers and students are regularly tested, then those who do not have COVID can safely and securely return to the classroom,” the spokesperson said.
One downside to the tests is accuracy, and a positive result requires more thorough laboratory tests to conclude if it is actually a positive case, The Associated Press reported.
The new tests get results in up to 15 minutes and are the first that can analyze the data without relying on machines, Trump said.
The president announced that the government will distribute the 150 million tests stockpiled “very, very soon,” according to the transcript.
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