RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced a cutting-edge interstate compact to expand the use of rapid antigen testing in Virginia. Governor Northam joined Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in this bipartisan agreement with the Rockefeller Foundation, which represents the first interstate testing compact of its kind among governors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With today’s announcement, these six states are entering formal discussions with Becton Dickinson and Quidel, the U.S. manufacturers of antigen tests that have already been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, to purchase 500,000 rapid antigen tests per state. By joining together, states are demonstrating to private manufacturers that there is significant demand to scale up the production of these tests, which deliver results in 15 to 20 minutes. Additional states, cities, and local governments may join the compact in the coming weeks.
“The states are leading America’s national response to COVID-19,” said Governor Northam. “We are bringing together this bipartisan, multi-state coalition to combine our purchasing power and get rapid testing supplies to our communities as quickly as possible. The people in our six states want to see action, and together, we’re delivering.”
This interstate cooperative purchasing agreement will provide a unique platform to purchase tests and associated supplies in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. In addition, the states will coordinate on policies and protocols regarding rapid antigen testing technology. The Rockefeller Foundation will assist in facilitating financing mechanisms to support this large-scale interstate testing compact.