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Maryland leads team of states to buy rapid COVID-19 tests

September 10th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Governor Larry Hogan announced Thursday that Maryland has signed a deal with Becton Dickinson to secure 250,000 advanced rapid antigen tests for the coronavirus. Maryland will be the first to receive the BD Veritor tests, with nine other states to follow as part of an interstate testing compact. The Rockefeller Foundation supported Maryland's purchase.

"This is the latest state of the art technology in rapid testing which will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help our states to speed up economic recovery," Hogan said in a news conference at BD Integrated Diagnostic Solutions in Sparks.

The tests, which can return a result in 15 to 20 minutes, will be distributed first to nursing homes, assisted living centers, juvenile detention facilities and correctional facilities. The state also plans to send rapid tests to college campuses, particularly to dormitories, Hogan said.

The tests do not replace the state's current Polymerase Chain Reaction tests, which Hogan said remain critical to the state's long-term strategy. To date, the state has completed more than 2.1 million such tests.