Defense Department To Drop $230 Million On First Ever At-Home COVID-19 Test

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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The U.S. Departments of Defense (DOD) and Homeland Security (DHS) are spending $230 million to mass-produce the first ever at-home coronavirus test, President Joe Biden’s administration announced Monday.

The test, innovated by Ellume Health, is an over-the-counter COVID-19 nasal swab test far less invasive than original versions, the administration announced in a COVID briefing Monday. Americans will be able to purchase the test at local pharmacies and take the test at home, receiving results via their cellphones in roughly 15 minutes. Ellume itself is capable of producing 100,000 tests per month through July, but the DOD and DHS are granting the additional funding to reach 8.5 million tests by the end of 2021. (RELATED: REPORT: Almost 200 National Guardsmen Test Positive For COVID-19)

The over-the-counter tests will cost Americans $30 and have a 95 percent accuracy rate, according to the White House. (RELATED: REPORT: Biden Administration Has Administered Vaccine To Hundreds Of White House Staffers)

Biden’s coronavirus response team also gave an update on new strains of coronavirus spreading within the U.S. The nation has now confirmed roughly 400 cases of the U.K. strain in more than 30 states; 3 cases of the South African strain in two states, and a single case of the Brazil strain in Minnesota.

Dr. Anthony Fauci reiterated that existing COVID vaccines work effectively against the U.K. strain. He said that while vaccines are less effective against the South African strain, the vaccine still provides a buffer against the disease and works to prevent additional COVID strains.