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Affordable Covid Rapid-Test Kits Coming to Mass Market

U. of Wisconsin will be first private customer. Could meeting groups be next?

Now that pharmaceutical firm Abbott has fulfilled the U.S. government’s order for 150 million of its BinaxNOW Covid-19 test kits, the company is focused on producing tens of millions of test kits monthly for the private market to buy. 

Abbott announced this week that by mid-February, organizations such as schools, workplaces, and pharmacies will be able to directly purchase the tests, which cost $5 each in bulk purchases and produce results in 15 minutes. Each test is paired with Abbott’s free Navica app so that people who test negative can generate a temporary digital health certificate via a QR code that can be scanned at the entrance to educational, workplace, and other facilities.

University of Wisconsin System will be the first private customer to secure BinaxNOW at scale, procuring 480,000 tests over six months for use at its universities and branch campuses.

There are two other types of at-home Covid tests coming to the market soon, from Ellume and Lucira. But when bought individually, they cost between $30 and $50 each.

Even with the availability of rapid-test kits, however, event planners must have answers for several other questions prior to resuming in-person events. Click here to learn those questions and answers.

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