California to receive 11.9 million rapid COVID-19 tests from federal government

The HHS said the tests were to help California continue to open its economy and schools.
California will soon receive nearly 12 million rapid coronavirus testing kits from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use for its teachers, students, first responders, and other essential employees within the state.

The point of care tests, called BinaxNOW and created by healthcare company, Abbott Laboratories, can provide COVID-19 results within 15 minutes, according to the HHS.

The department said California planned to distribute the tests to counties based on population and those with rising COVID-19 case rates. So far, one million tests were given to 15 of the state's 58 counties.

RELATED: California ramping up COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, Newsom says

The HHS said the tests were to help California continue to open its economy and schools.

Gov. Gavin Newsom would allocate the tests between students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, teachers, nursing home patients and staff, higher education schools, first responders, and critical infrastructure agencies.

About 701,000 of the BinaxNOW tests were already sent to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the state's historically black colleges and universities, the department said.

Another three million tests were shipped on Monday.

Earlier this month, Gov. Newsom said the state was working to increase its COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts as flu season approaches.

RELATED: Map shows which counties can, can't reopen under Newsom's new 4-tier system

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