Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday the acquisition of 15 point-of-care ID NOW testing instruments from the federal government to expand access to COVID-19 testing in New Jersey.
The portable, rapid testing machines will be dispersed to health care systems throughout the state, will be able to test for COVID-19 and process specimens in approximately 5-13 minutes.
“In order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and manage our health care resources and personal protective equipment supply, we need to implement more aggressive testing techniques,” said Murphy. “With Abbott’s innovative point-of-care molecular testing platform, we will be able to swiftly process lab specimens and provide individuals with the care and resources they need immediately. I am grateful for our partnership with the federal government and with Abbott Labs for their assistance in expanding testing capacity in New Jersey,” said Murphy.
In March 2020, Abbott received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval for molecular point-of-care testing for the detection of COVID-19, and announced Bergen County as the first site for testing.
The test runs on the company’s ID NOW platform, providing rapid results in a wide range of health care settings. In addition to the 15 ID NOW instruments, New Jersey received an initial allotment of 125 tests and will require additional resources to achieve maximum testing capacity.
New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that this new initiative will help New Jersey meet the demand for testing in our state.
“Rapid testing will help provide more real-time data on the impact of COVID-19 in our state,” she added.
“Point-of-care testing with rapid results will help health care providers identify positive cases more quickly, which will facilitate safe and effective health care delivery to more patients,” said Christopher Neuwirth, assistant commissioner of the Department of Health’s Division of Public Health Infrastructure, Laboratories and Emergency Preparedness.
“The addition of the Abbott rapid testing device to current diagnostic capabilities will enhance the ability of health care providers in diverse practice settings to address the many challenges associated with providing optimal care to patients with COVID-19,” said Dr. Thomas Kirn, laboratory director for the New Jersey Public Health and Environment Laboratories.