OKLAHOMA CITY (Oct. 1, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt today announced Oklahoma has received an initial allocation of roughly 77,000 Abbott Laboratories BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care COVID-19 tests.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health will prioritize the distribution of these tests and equipment to K-12 schools, high-risk health care workers and other vulnerable populations. More specific details will be available in the coming days.
“Distributing rapid point-of-care tests across our state will be incredibly valuable to keep our schools open for in-person instruction while protecting Oklahomans from this virus,” said Gov. Stitt. “These tests will also help us keep our frontline healthcare workers and their families safe as they continue their important mission of caring for the sick and our most vulnerable.”
The BinaxNOW COVID-19 test uses nasal swabs that are simple to administer, inexpensive and can be easily employed by medical personnel or trained operators in certain non-clinical environments operating through a CLIA certificate. OSDH will provide training to locations receiving testing equipment, and those sites will be permitted to conduct tests through OSDH’s CLIA certificate.
Results are provided on-site in 15 minutes or less.
“Oklahoma has been on the cutting edge of testing our population for COVID-19 and we are excited to add this test to our arsenal as we combat this disease and keep Oklahomans safe,” said Dr. Lance Frye, Interim Commissioner of Health. “We want the public to know we have plenty of testing capacity, so if you have any fear of exposure, get tested.”
This allocation is part of 100 million rapid tests scheduled to be distributed by the end of the year to the nation’s governors free of charge from the federal government.
States will continue to receive allocations from the federal government as more BinaxNOW tests are manufactured. According to Abbott Diagnostics, it plans to make up to 48 million tests available monthly in the U.S. in the coming weeks.
Free COVID-19 testing continues to be available at more than 80 sites across the Oklahoma.
While many other states continue to only test patients with symptoms, Oklahoma has made a concerted effort to expand its testing capability to ensure any Oklahoman who wants a test can get one, and in most cases, can now receive a result in as few as 48 hours from test administration.
Oklahomans can visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov to find testing locations in their area or call 211 for more information.