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As companies like Ford, 3M, GE, and others continue to supply healthcare providers with new technologies to help curb the spread of COVID-19,  infection remains a top priority for public health officials. But a major breakthrough came on Friday: Abbott announced new point-of-care testing that offers healthcare workers rapid results in more settings where people show up for care.

Abbott, a longtime employer at BEYA Job Fairs and top supporter of HBCU engineering, said the medical devices and health care company can now detect COVID-19 in as little as 5 minutes. In addition, the company has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Beginning next week, Abbott plans to deliver 50,000 ID Now COVID-19 tests per day to the U.S. healthcare system, and expects to produce about 5 million tests in April.

“Through the incredible work of teams across Abbott, we expect to deliver 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day to healthcare professionals on the front lines, where testing capabilities are needed most,” said Chris Scoggins, senior vice president, Rapid Diagnostics, Abbott. “Portable molecular testing expands the country’s capacity to get people answers faster.”

According to Abbott, the new molecular test runs on a lightweight box, about the size of a small toaster, that can sit anywhere people can have their results in a matter of minutes. The test can deliver positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes in physicians’ office and urgent care clinics.

Molecular testing technologies help detect the presence of a virus by identifying a small section of the virus’ genome, then amplifying that portion until there’s enough for detection.

When not being used for COVID-19 testing, ID NOW is the leading molecular point-of-care platform for Influenza A&B, Strep A, and is already widely available in physicians’ offices, urgent care clinics, and hospital emergency departments across the country.

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