LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTAL/KARK) – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday the Arkansas Department of Health has received 12,000 antigen tests, which will allow people in the state with COVID-19 symptoms to get test results back more quickly.
The antigen tests can deliver results in less than 30 minutes and positive results are usually highly accurate, but they have a higher chance of missing an active infection. That is one of the reasons the state only uses them on those who have symptoms of the coronavirus and recommends they follow up with a PCR (nasal swab) test when the antigen results come back negative in spite of those symptoms.
Hutchinson said the state has invested in 200 antigen testing machines, but haven’t had the supplies to be able to do tests across the state. Now, they have a two-month supply.
The governor said testing machines will be distributed in all the local health units across the state.
Stephanie Williams, Chief of Staff for the Arkansas Department of Health, said BD Veritor point-of-care antigen testing machines will also be sent to NYIT-Jonesboro, Arkansas Minority Health, NWA Council, as well as some critical access hospitals and small rural hospitals.
Williams said some parts of the state will have two machines.
According to Williams, there will be 40 to 50 extra machines and the Health Department will figure out where they will go.
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