DeWine announces purchase of at least 2 million at-home rapid antigen tests


CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Governor Mike DeWine announced the purchase of two million at-home BinaxNow rapid antigen tests that can be self-administered with results in about 15 minutes.

The governor said he hopes that this will allow communities to more aggressively test for COVID-19.

DeWine said the state is partnering with Abbot to purchase $50 million worth of tests with CARES Act funds for public health departments throughout Ohio. Local health departments will ultimately decide where these tests will go.

Through an agreement with eMed, people can request telehealth services after using a rapid antigen test. A live guide will work with callers to help with the testing process, all without having to visit a testing location.

Miami Valley Health leaders say these at-home tests may be directed to specific people.

“These will likely be used for individuals who do have a symptomatic infection because the antigen test is great to be able to identify those symptoms who may be acutely affected,” said MVH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colon. “So ideally, that’s where we’d want the tests to be utilized.”

Health leaders are confident in the reliability of the tests but say most importantly they’ll supply information in as quick as 15 minutes.

“A negative antigen test doesn’t really give you a kinda confident answer, but a positive test does,” said ODH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff. “But if you have a positive result then you know what you need to do. You know that it’s important to isolate and follow the guidance that’s given for those with positive covid tests.”

eMed’s CEO Patrice Harris says this partnership with the state of Ohio puts frontline workers, first responders and communities health as the top priority.

“We need to get tests in the hands of folks around this country so that they can make sure they’re safe, their families are safe and communities are safe,” said Dr. Harris.

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