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Rapid COVID-19 tests coming to Missouri

The state health department reported a record breaking rise in COVID-19 cases on Saturday.
The state health department reported a record breaking rise in COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Rapid COVID-19 testing supplies developed by Abbott Laboratories are coming to Missouri.

President Donald Trump announced plans Monday to send 150 million of the tests out to states to help get students back in the classroom.

In his news conference at the White House, Trump said the rapid testing would "allow every state on a very regular basis test every teacher who needs it.”

Doctor Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said while the tests are "primarily oriented for K through 12, to build out guidelines to use them there, but the states do have the discretion."

Williams said tests have already been sent to Missouri nursing homes and historically black colleges and universities, but more are headed to the state level. He said it's unclear how many tests will be in the first shipment, but the plan is for the supplies to come each month for the foreseeable future.

Williams added that the tests are very user friendly and give results in about 15 minutes.

"Someone does a simple nasal swab on you, it's very shallow and you put it on a card, it's a little credit card," Williams said. "You pour on some solution, and you wait about 15 minutes and it comes back, positive or negative."

As of Tuesday, Williams said the turnaround for the typical nasal swab test is about one to two days, so the faster results will help identify cases of COVID-19 and close contacts more quickly.

He also said the Food and Drug Administration approved the tests for use on a wide range of people, which will help with the state's strategy to curb the spread of the virus.

"The governor is incredibly purposeful, that he thinks that two bridges until we get the vaccine. We need to test people," Williams said. "When we test those people if they're positive, we need to isolate them, and then identify who their close contacts are so that we can keep them from spreading the virus."

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus
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Brittany Wiley

Brittany Wiley joined ABC 17 News in December 2018 as a full-time reporter. She anchors weekend morning broadcasts and reports in the early evening during the week.

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