Brett Giroir, the head of the coronavirus testing division of the Health and Human Services agency, announced that he believes the United States will have the capacity to conduct 50 million COVID-19 tests come September 2020.
This number is almost four times larger than the Trump administration’s goal for the end of May of 12.9 million tests. Testing is a crucial element necessary for a safe return to an active economy.
“We project that our nation will be capable of performing at least 40 to 50 million tests per month if needed at that time,” Giroir said on Tuesday, May 12.
Most of those tests will be “point of care” tests analyzed in hospitals and doctors’ offices.
Last week the FDA gave the first antigen test developed emergency use authorization. The test gives fast results and can be used in doctors’ offices and hospitals. Antigen tests, in general, are simpler and cheaper than the PCR-style tests used for most coronavirus test available now, which look for the genetic material of the virus.