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US government sending more than 2M rapid COVID-19 tests to Arizona

This image provided by Abbott Laboratories in August 2020 shows the company's BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 nasal swab test. The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, authorized BinaxNOW, the first rapid coronavirus test that doesn't need any special computer equipment to get results. (Abbott Laboratories via AP)

PHOENIX – The federal government is sending Arizona more than 2 million rapid COVID-19 tests, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday.

The state will prioritize the 2.19 million Abbott Laboratories diagnostic tests, which can produce results in 15 minutes, for K-12 schools and at-risk communities.

“These new FDA-approved rapid tests will allow us to quickly identify cases and prevent outbreaks among our most vulnerable citizens,” Ducey said in a press release.

In addition to schools, the tests will target nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice centers and tribal nations.

The tests, which are expected to start arriving in Arizona next week, are among millions being sent to states as part of the Trump administration’s push to reopen schools across the nation.

The status of Arizona schools varies by district, with some campuses fully opened, others on a hybrid plan combining online and in-person instruction and others sticking with all-virtual learning for now.

The tests will go out to states based on their population and can be used as governors see fit, but the administration is encouraging them to place a priority on schools.

White House officials said at a Rose Garden event that 6.5 million tests will go out this week and that a total of 100 million tests will be distributed to governors over the next several weeks.

The tests will come from a previously announced supply of 150 million ordered from Abbott. The company’s rapid test, the size of a credit card, is the first that does not require specialty computer equipment to process.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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