Federal Government to Send Millions of COVID-19 Tests to Nursing Homes

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a large-scale buy of diagnostic instruments and COVID-19 tests that it will distribute to the nation's 15,400 nursing homes in coming months. The agency will begin to distribute the equipment and tests next week to 2,000 nursing homes ranked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for being at highest risk for community spread of COVID-19.

The test instruments that HHS is distributing are the Sofia 2 from Quidel (NASDAQ: QDEL) and BD Veritor Plus from Becton, Dickinson (NYSE: BDX). The instruments use immunoassay tests that detect SARS-CoV-2 antigens in samples from nasal swabs in 15 minutes. Both systems have been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Coronaviruses imposed over a pair of elderly hands.

Image source: Getty Images.

HHS plans to ship the units and about 400 tests to every nursing home in the country. After that, facilities can order additional tests for under $25 each. The government says that each nursing home needs the capability to screen residents and to test staff at least weekly. By September, HHS hopes to have 15 million to 20 million tests available each month, but the companies will likely not have the production capacity to meet the full demand for the tests and supplies until October.

10 stocks we like better than Becton, Dickinson
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Becton, Dickinson wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks


*Stock Advisor returns as of June 2, 2020


Jim Crumly owns shares of Quidel. The Motley Fool recommends Becton, Dickinson and Quidel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Latest Markets Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More