The federal government plans to deliver more than 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests around the country. The nasal swab tests are not as uncomfortable as other versions and they can deliver results in about 15 minutes. During today’s virtual briefing at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City, Gov. Mike Parson says Missouri will be getting a share of those tests.
“We expect to receive 120,000 of these tests in Missouri by the end of the week and nearly two million by the end of the year,” says Parson.
Getting the tests to schools and long-term care centers will be a top priority.
During a State Board of Education meeting this month, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokesperson Mallory McGowin said the agency is working with the statewide COVID response team to develop the plans and guidance for this new line of effort.
“Being able to test a symptomatic member of your school staff to know if he or she could come into work that morning or not, could be really valuable to address the workforce issue we’ve heard great concern about,” she said.
Missouri has had ongoing problems with keeping teachers around and the shortage is expected to be even greater during the pandemic.
The tests will arrive after a new White House Coronavirus Task Force report says new hospital admissions are increasing and case rates put Missouri in a vulnerable position going into the fall and winter. A report, dated September 27, says Missouri has the 8th highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the country, listing the state again in the red zone for cases based on population.
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