Teachers might be first in line to receive COVID-19 rapid tests

Rapid COVID-19 tests to be distributed in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State leaders are sorting out who will receive the more than one million COVID-19 rapid tests the Trump administration plans to provide Alabama.

These tests provide a result in about 15 minutes and K-12 schools are on the top of the list to receive some of them.

The first shipment of about 96,000 BinaxNow, rapid COVID-19 tests from Abbott Laboratories, should arrive soon with more shipments in phases over the coming months, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said Tuesday.

“We are looking at trying to prioritize schools based on if there’s not available testing in a community," State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. "If it’s an area that has a good bit of disease spread going on at the moment, if there’s just a general lack of access, we want to prioritize those those areas first.”

Harris said teachers may be first in line to use the test instead of widespread testing of students. But nothing has been determined yet.

“Probably more for those that high risk for disease like teachers or faculty as opposed to widespread testing of children," he said.

Dr. Harris says if every student in Alabama received the test there would only be enough for two tests for each student.

“It’s not that we wouldn’t screen every child if we had the ability to do that," he explained. "But it’s a it’s more important in the list of priorities to screen those people who are at highest risk for illness.”

But Harris says there may be scenarios where tests would be available for students as well. Other departments including the department of corrections could receive some tests as well.

The first batch of tests will come in about 10 days, and Harris said he hopes they will have a set-in stone plan by that time.

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