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Wisconsin to receive 1.75 million BinaxNOW tests for COVID-19 response

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 4:52 PM CDT
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ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WBAY) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces a shipment of 1,750,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to the State of Wisconsin.

President Trump first announced the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen test in August designed to give results in as little as 15 minutes.

Allouez Parkside Village is an assisted living community that specializes in dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Nearly eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, staff still find themselves working on the front line.

“They’re feeling all the same emotions that everyone else is feeling,” said Holly Duquaine, admissions and marketing director at Allouez Parkside Village. “They’re riding that same roller coaster that everybody else is riding, and everybody is just so anxious for COVID to be over.”

Working with Brown County Public Health, staff at Allouez Parkside Village wear masks, wash their hands frequently, practice social distancing, and regularly check temperatures. There is also a strict visitation policy in place.

When it comes to testing, anyone with symptoms or exposure to someone with COVID-19 gets tested.

“We’re very fortunate that we have our own testing supply, and with our testing supply, we’re able to get results back very quickly,” said Duquaine.

“Up to today, we’ve shipped over 600,000 point of care tests to nursing homes in the State of Wisconsin to assure that our most vulnerable citizens are protected," said Admiral Brett Giroir of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Giroir says most of those tests are used on staff at those facilities to prevent the introduction to and spread of COVID-19 among people living there.

The 1,750,000 BinaxNOW tests will be under the discretion of Governor Evers to help K-12 students and teachers, colleges and universities, hospitals, first responders, nursing homes, and other critical infrastructure.

“Smart policies plus smart testing equals defeat of the virus,” said Giroir.

Since Monday, more than 1,061,000 have been sent to Wisconsin. Tests will be shipped every week until the entire supply is fulfilled which is expected to happen in December or January.

Giroir says Abbott has the ability to manufacture up to 50 million BinaxNOW tests each month at facilities in Maine and Illinois.

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