FLORIDA, USA — The state of Florida is set to roll out new rapid testing kits for COVID-19.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced in a press conference from The Villages thousands of new nasal swab tests could provide results in 15 minutes. DeSantis spent part of his press conference explaining how the new BinaxNOW test by Abbott Health works.
“This is what we can do to focus protection on our most vulnerable residents,” DeSantis said on Tuesday.
DeSantis says the tests aren't the end all be all, but they are an additional tool to identify COVID-19.
He says the goal of the new tests is to help reduce wait times for results. He also believes the tests could help keep COVID-19 out of vulnerable communities.
DeSantis announced 180,000 kits will be sent to senior living communities and 100,000 will be sent to long-term care facilities in Florida. An additional 60,000 will be sent to school districts across the state. According to DeSantis, healthy students quarantining has been a problem and he wants to keep students in school.
“It’s not something we want to see done on a large-scale so these tests give you the ability to take that off the table,” DeSantis said.
The tests are being provided by the federal government for free, according to DeSantis.
These rapid tests are authorized by the FDA, but it is recommended they be used only for patients who already have symptoms.
The tests, the same being used at the White House have a higher risk of producing false-negative results.
The FDA cautions anyone getting a negative result from a rapid test should consider confirming it with a more sensitive lab test.