Eight states have yet to distribute quick, cheap, on-the-spot coronavirus tests that were sent to them by the federal government to help speed coronavirus screening efforts, a top official said Monday.
The government has stopped shipping the Abbott BinaxNow tests to those states for now, Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, US Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for health, told reporters during a briefing.
"Even though many of these states have excellent plans on how to use them, we are pausing shipments to these states until they have started to distribute their tests, because given where we are in the outbreak, we cannot let tests sit unused," Giroir said.
He said the states are: Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Nevada, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, and New Mexico.
CNN is reaching out to these states for comment.
Giroir said that by the end of the week, the federal government will have shipped more than 50.2 million of the BinaxNow tests.
"That includes over 33 million to governors, over 11 million to nursing homes, over 3.2 million to assisted living, over 679,000 to home health and hospice, 450,000 to tribal nations, over 391,000 to HBCUs -- historically black colleges and universities -- and over 594,000 to disaster relief operations or surge surveillance testing sites," he said.
Giroir said schools were opening "quite successfully" across the country, with minimal transmission of coronavirus, but that there was not much screening going on.
"We do know that school testing -- although it's important -- very few states or districts are actually screening students. There's limited screening of staff," Giroir said in a briefing with reporters. "So that priority is probably less than we thought before, but again we have to assess."