Oregon will be receiving 60,000 to 80,000 COVID-19 rapid tests per week until the end of the year. The Abbott BinaxNOW antigen tests can diagnose cases of COVID-19 in 15 minutes, the announcement said.
The new tests will be deployed statewide, with a focus first on counties and long-term care facilities that have been affected by wildfire evacuations, putting vulnerable residents and staff at higher risk for COVID-19.
The tests will also be deployed to outpatient and mobile COVID-19 testing locations, for symptomatic people and their close contacts, whether those contacts are showing symptoms.
In order to ensure safety for Oregon students, tests also will be distributed to school-based health centers and other health care partners working with K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities.
"With this increased testing capacity, we hope to be able to diagnose more people quickly so they can get the care they need," said Brown.
Testing is an excellent tool giving a more full picture of where the virus is hiding in the communities. "Unfortunately it is not a cure-all or the solution to all of our problems," she added.
The Oregon Health Authority will maintain a strategic reserve of tests to address outbreaks beyond December, in the event the federal government runs low on testing supplies.