Governor Polis Delivers COVID-19 Tests Directly to Educators as Colorado Launches Innovative At-Home Testing Program
Polis administration ensuring schools have resources to return to in-person learning
DENVER - Today, Governor Polis hand-delivered COVID-19 rapid test kits directly to the homes of Colorado’s educators in Arvada, Parker, Fountain, and Pueblo. Colorado launched a first of its kind, innovative At-Home Testing Program for educators.
Colorado is one of only three states chosen to partner with Abbot BinaxNOW to expand use of rapid COVID-19 testing to further open our schools, our economy and successfully suppress the virus. The team at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) have innovated further by forging a partnership with Amazon and eMed, one of the nation’s leading digital health providers, to bring testing to the comfort of educators’ homes with a medical professional present through a telehealth appointment.
“In-person learning is essential to the well-being and safety of our students, as well as the future of our economy. This is why my administration has worked to swiftly implement and responsibly fund an effective layered safety approach in order to get our students back in the classroom,” said Governor Polis. “I was thrilled to deliver these important tests to our educators today and to speak with them directly about how we can work together to overcome the unique challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. I delivered 11 of them and thankfully Amazon is delivering tens of thousands more.”
Colorado purchased 2 million BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card test kits, and the state is working to ensure the kits will be delivered directly to the homes of teachers, staff, and selected students from hundreds of participating public and private schools across the state.
“Colorado is one of the first states in the country to receive these test kits and we are pleased to support Governor Polis’ vision,” said Dr. Patrice Harris, eMed CEO. “The ability to test a population, in this case the teachers, staff, and students of Colorado, for COVID-19 is one of the necessary steps, along with masks, social distancing, and vaccines, that will allow us to curb the spread of this virus. The fact that the BinaxNOW test can be self-administered at home with results in as little as 15 minutes, makes this process easier than ever.”
BinaxNOW testing is one important part of the layered school safety protocols critical for ensuring students are able to learn in-person, including vaccines for educators and school staff, mask-wearing, symptom screening, ventilation, cohort isolation, quarantine enforcement, and social distancing. These precautions are detailed in the State’s Roadmap to In-Person Learning, developed in partnership with the Back-to-School Working Group, a group of educators, parents, and public health professionals focused on getting the state back to in-person learning as soon as safely possible.
“Amazon is committed to assisting Governor Polis and the State of Colorado in this vital initiative,” said Gopal Pillai, VP of Amazon Fulfillment and Distribution Solutions. “Through Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment, CDPHE will store COVID-19 test kits in Amazon’s Thornton fulfillment center and ship them with Amazon’s fast, reliable shipping directly to teachers, staff and selected students across the state, using a web portal. Amazon Web Services worked with the Governor’s Office of Information Technology to develop this system which integrates with Amazon’s fulfillment network to manage orders. Orders will be processed through the portal and received by Amazon’s fulfillment team in Denver to pick, pack, and ship tests.”
Since last Fall, the Polis administration has provided over 230,000 PCR tests to teachers and the education community through its vendor COVIDCheck Colorado As of January 28th, the state has funded more than 70 COVIDCheck Colorado testing locations throughout the state. The Polis administration has also provided over seven million medical-grade masks to teachers in both private and public schools delivered weekly to schools throughout the state, and this is scheduled to continue for the remainder of the school year. The Polis administration has also sent over $15 million in grants to school districts and schools throughout the state for additional measures to increase COVID safety protocols such as outdoor classrooms and ventilation improvements.
School faculty, staff, and selected students can use these kits as part of the ongoing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The tests can be used for symptomatic individuals, for those who have been exposed to COVID-19, and for screening asymptomatic individuals.
Developed by Abbott, the BinaxNOW test recently received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be used with telehealth guidance, provided by eMed, for self-collection in individuals age 15 and older and for adult collection in children age 4-14 years.
The Polis administration is working to ensure home BinaxNOW tests are available through the end of this school year to all districts and private schools that opt into the program. CDPHE purchased the first 2 million test kits for schools for use in the first month. Subsequent months will either be purchased through a cost-share agreement between schools and the state or may be reimbursed by the federal government.
For more information on BinaxNOW test kits, please visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/
eMed (www.eMed.com) is a digital health company democratizing healthcare with a digital point-of-care platform that provides fast, easy and affordable at-home health care testing, supervised and guided online by eMed Certified Guides. We embrace quantitative medicine to deliver prescribed tests and treatments directly to patients, driving better and more cost-effective health outcomes.
About Abbott Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 107,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries. Connect with us at www.abbott.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/
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