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Tennessee to begin ramping up use of a COVID-19 rapid test

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT/AP)  --  Tennessee will next week begin receiving its share of the new rapid COVID-19 tests being distributed by the federal government.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said Tuesday Tennessee will receive an initial shipment of 130,000 tests in the coming days. She said Tennessee will get roughly two million tests by the end of the year.

The tests, created by Abbott labs, will be used primarily in schools and nursing homes.

Commissioner Piercey notes the tests have a 97 percent accuracy rate among individuals who are virus positive and symptomatic. The tests are less effective among those who are asymptomatic or virus negative.

Dr. Piercey noted the tests cost just $5 each as opposed to $100 for lab based tests. In addition, results are available in minutes rather than days.

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