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Thousands of COVID tests ordered across states, National Guard deploys

As the omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread in the United States, states have mobilized in response.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will deploy 100 members of the State National Guard to hospitals by Jan. 24 to set up testing sites and help with non-medical tasks in times of drug shortages. staff.

Earlier this month, Inslee said the state ordered 5.5 million home tests to distribute to the public, would improve access to booster vaccines and provide about 10 million free protective masks to residents.


“We are seeing more cases of COVID now than at any time during the entire pandemic,” he said at the time. “Now is the time to redouble our efforts against this virus.”

In neighboring Oregon, Governor Kate Brown said Wednesday she would deploy 1,200 members of the Oregon National Guard to more than 50 hospitals across the state.

“Fueled by the omicron variant, current hospitalizations exceed 700 and the daily number of COVID-19 cases is alarming,” she said on Twitter.

“As they escalate yet again, I ask all Oregonians to continue doing their part. Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear your masks and stay home when you are sick,” he said. added Brown.

Governor Larry Hogan announced Thursday that Maryland is opening six new hospital-based COVID-19 testing sites.

Additionally, the governor has announced plans to distribute 20 million N95 and KN95 masks statewide.

“We encourage all Marylanders to keep doing the things that can protect us: get vaccinated and boosted, avoid crowds, keep your distance, wash your hands, and wear masks or face coverings where appropriate,” he said. Hogan said in a statement. “We will continue to take whatever action is necessary, and we urge the Marylanders to remain vigilant, so that together we can continue to lead the nation with our health and economic recovery.”

Earlier this month, he said the Maryland Department of Health would make 500,000 Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen test kits available statewide.

In New England, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said residents can expect to receive 26 million rapid COVID-19 iHealth antigen tests over the next three months.


Baker also said on Tuesday that he had activated an additional 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to support the state’s health care system.

The order expands the 500-member National Guard activation that was originally announced on December 21 to support non-clinical functions in state hospitals.

In Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott’s office said the 175,000 free COVID-19 rapid test kits that became available to order online were picked up Wednesday afternoon.

Households have been allowed to order two kits containing a total of four tests which will be delivered to 87,500 households over the next one to two weeks.

“As expected, the demand was very high and shows how the people of Vermont understand the importance of testing as a way to protect their health and the people around them,” Scott said in a statement.

Another 75,000 test kits are expected to be available, but it’s unclear when exactly.

Governor Greg Gianforte announced Thursday that Montana has ordered 650,000 CareStart COVID-19 rapid tests for distribution to residents through county health departments.

“As the state of Montana, like the rest of the nation, faces a new push with the omicron variant, testing is an essential tool to help keep people safe through early detection,” a- he said in a statement.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said Thursday the state expects to receive nearly 600,000 rapid COVID-19 tests from the federal government.

“We have no intention of moving forward with further mitigation measures,” the governor told reporters.


In the state, omicron now accounts for about 90% of newly reported COVID-19 cases, and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the worrying variant accounts for more than 98% of cases in the United States.

President Biden said on Thursday that the federal government plans to double to 1 billion the number of rapid tests that will be made available free of charge.

Some tests will be available next week – and a website will be set up – while others will be distributed over the next few months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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