Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced at his daily press conference today (Aug. 3) that the state has received 100 BD Veritor point-of-care antigen testing machines for COVID-19 with another 100 expected to come in later.
However, the state is still waiting on the necessary testing kits to use the machines. The governor pointed out that the kits have been “pledged to us by the middle of the month.”
Over the next three weeks, the antigen testing machines will be distributed to the local public health units across the state by the Arkansas Department of Health.
“Our plan is to assign these new BD Veritor antigen equipment to our public health units with a priority of utilizing the quick turnaround tests—our point-of-care tests—for our K through 12 educational systems,” Hutchinson said. “In other words, if there is a teacher, if there is a staff person, if there is a student that needs to have a quick test, then they can go there to the local health unit…”
According to Hutchinson, the antigen tests at the public health units will be “free of cost.”
“If you go elsewhere, they can charge insurance or otherwise,” he said. “But, we don’t plan on having any charge to the participant who needs that test.”