Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) a medical technology company, has announced it has been selected by the state of Washington to provide COVID-19 testing and screening in K-12 schools across the state.

The BD Veritor Plus system is a portable, rapid and easy-to-use point-of-care antigen test that detects SARS-CoV-2 — the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — and provides results in just 15 minutes with a clear and easy-to-read “positive” or “negative” readout on its digital display. The digital display eliminates human subjectivity of manually read tests. Schools throughout Washington state can use the BD Veritor Plus system free of charge through a partnership with the Washington Department of Health and The Health Commons Project “Learn to Return” school testing program.

Schools that choose to use the BD Veritor Plus system also have a full-service option where Premier Medical Group (PMG), a third-party testing company, plans and executes the school’s testing program so teachers and administrators can focus on teaching, not testing. In this option, PMG will prepare a turn-key solution that includes testing protocol, administration of the tests to students and completion of all required results-reporting to individuals and schools, as well as local, state and federal health officials. This will be the only rapid (same day results) testing option with staffing support for Washington schools.

“Using these testing services, schools can benefit from BD’s diagnostic testing technologies together with the ease of implementation and execution from a known testing service provider that has experience in implementing on-site testing programs in over 500 schools nationwide,” says Scott Miscovich, MD, president and CEO, PMG. “Knowing testing results in 15 minutes is critical in school environments in order to remain open and to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Students can be immediately quarantined if they test positive, instead of waiting for 24 to 48 hours or more for a lab-based test result to return. The ease of use and rapid results are also ideal for sports and extracurricular activities where testing is required or recommended to keep participants safe and reduce the potential for large outbreaks across a team that can lead to games or entire seasons being canceled.”

Rapid antigen testing with the BD Veritor Plus System meets the needs of Washington schools who are implementing symptomatic testing, screening programs and/or extracurricular-only testing.

Featured image: An elementary school student receives a rapid antigen test using the BD Veritor Plus System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2. Photo: BD