SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Rapid testing is coming to California. The federal government is sending 12 million of them to the state.
On top of that, the feds are sending some directly to counties they feel are in need.
The tests cost $5 and the results take 15 minutes, but whether you can even get a test may depend on your job.
“It’s their job to be around people,” said Shaun Rundle, Deputy Director with the California Peace Officers Association.
Rundle calls rapid testing for California’s 23,000 police officers a game-changer. He says in Sacramento County alone, 50 deputies have tested positive since the pandemic started, and current rapid testing takes up to 72 hours for results.
“It’s such an easier sign off to say, ‘OK, now for the way we’re shifting patrols,’ this is much easier because we have trust that our people are safe going out there and completely negative for testing,” Rundle said.
The rapid testing, Binax Now from Abbott Laboratories, promises to provide accurate COVID-19 test results within minutes. The company says it works like a pregnancy test but is done with the help of a healthcare professional, like a pharmacist or a nurse.
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The California Department of Health confirms they’ve started giving out the tests, more than 600 to each county. More of them will go to counties with higher case rates. The Sacramento County Department of Health confirms they have received nearly 30,000 tests from the state and are first sending them to schools, urgent care centers and jails.
But police officers are waiting to find out if they’re part of any distribution plan.
“Our 23,000 plus members are in that waiting game too, what’s coming from the state? What’s coming from the feds? What’s being filtered down to the local level?” Rundle said.
In Placer County, the health department says they haven’t received any tests yet. In San Joaquin County, they have received some tests and are sending them to health care facilities.