Missouri has received no new supply from Abbott in the last two weeks and was not notified of a pause from the manufacturer until DHSS inquired this week. All states are experiencing a similar situation, and availability at the state level has been decreasing since the White House announced a federal expansion of at-home testing for Americans. Since then, President Biden announced that hundreds of millions of at-home tests will be made available to Americans in January. With the increase in cases due to high Omicron transmissibility, this issue is being closely monitored as supply and demand changes daily. Missouri is placing a pause on fulfilling re-orders. This pause is due only to the current constrained supply, and we will resume the purchase of antigen tests, once they become available. Our team has identified several options that we are exploring and pursuing now to meet the current testing needs of our existing users as well as the long-term needs.
- DHSS will not accept new applications from existing test user types. For example, if a facility or organization has not previously received COVID antigen tests – BinaxNOW – through the state warehouse, that facility or organization will not be approved as a new applicant until further notified. We will maintain any new applications received for future potential approval.
- Fulfillment of reorders are temporarily being paused until there is clear information regarding the availability of COVID antigen test shipments. DHSS does not know how long this pause may be necessary, but will communicate promptly when the pause is rescinded. This pause was effective with reorders placed 1/3/2022 and subsequently.
- During this pause in fulfilment of re-orders, DHSS will prioritize fulfillment of re-orders for any outbreaks. If your facility or organization has a COVID outbreak, please place your reorder and email Kayla.Purnell@health.mo.gov to indicate the outbreak status. To assure prompt processing, please indicate in the e-mail subject line: ‘Outbreak Testing: insert the name of your facility/organization’.
Because the antigen tests are not widely/easily available at this time- you will want to take into consideration creating a testing plan that includes both antigen and PCR testing. The State of Missouri is continuing to reimburse homes for PCR testing related to outbreaks.
Reimbursement for OUTBREAK Testing
A reminder that in order to furnish immediate aid and relief in response to the state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19, the State of Missouri has made some funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund available to Missouri Long-Term Care facilities with COVID-19 Outbreaks. These funds are available to Long-Term Care facilities that experience an outbreak (one or more positive cases) and are conducting base-line facility testing and some immediate follow-up testing in order to contain outbreaks. For more information: https://apps.dss.mo.gov/LongTermCareCovid19Invoices/.
If you have difficulty obtaining swabs and media from your laboratory- you can order them from Missouri State Public Health Laboratory (MSPH). Your contracted laboratory would still process the samples- not MSPH.