NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The state of Tennessee expects to see its first shipment of rapid-result COVID-19 tests form the federal government over the next week.
On Monday, President Donald Trump announced plans to distribute more than 150 million rapid point-of-care tests across the United States.
According to Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, Tennessee is scheduled to receive more than two million of these tests before the end of the year. Over the next week, Dr. Piercey said the state expects to get its first 133,000 tests.
Dr. Piercey said tests will be distributed on a per-capita basis through the end of the year. Tests are conducted through a front of the nose swab and results come back in as little as 13 to 15 minutes. These tests also cost less than previous COVID-19 tests used. The new tests cost between $5 and $6 versus old tests costing around $100 per test.
According to the governor’s news conference Tuesday, the state will work over the next week to determine how these tests will be distributed across the state. Officials say schools will be given priority.
Also during the news conference, Dr. Piercey said the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability continues to work on reopening senior centers across the state. Residents suffering from loneliness and isolation continues to be a concern.
Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn also updated the status of schools returning to the classroom across the state. According to Schwinn, over the last week, 414 new COVID-19 cases have been reported from schools across the state. That’s in addition to 170 new cases reported among staff. She said 90% of schools have updated their COVID-19 cases to the state’s newly launched dashboard.
As of this week, 127 districts are still operating under a hybrid model, 10 districts have returned to completely in-person instruction, and three districts are still operating only remotely.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.