Missoula City-County Health Dept. announces use of new rapid COVID-19 tests

Missoula Health Department
Posted at 12:34 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 19:37:56-05

MISSOULA — The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) is now offering a new rapid COVID-19 test, Abbott BinaxNOW, at the Flynn Lane clinic.

BinaxNOW rapid tests are developed by Abbott, the same company that provided the county’s previous rapid tests, Abbott ID NOW.

MCCHD is offering BinaxNOW tests in addition to ID NOW tests because they are more readily available.

Abbott BinaxNOW is a rapid antigen test about the size a credit card that produces results in 15 minutes.

MCCHD reports that in a clinical study, the sensitivity rate -- also known as the true positive rate -- was 97.1%.

The same study found the specificity rate, also known as a true-negative rate, to be 98.5%, according to a news release.

MCCHD notes that if a patient displays symptoms and tests negative with an Abbott BinaxNOW test, the health department will follow up with a PCR test as a precaution.

Abbot BinaxNOW has been approved for use under the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization.

"MCCHD is confident that the Abbott BinaxNOW will consistently provide accurate results in a timely manner," a news release states.

The health department recently announced longer weekend hours at the Flynn Lane Clinic -- from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

MCCHD continues to offer testing to county residents through a mobile testing unit as well.

The mobile unit is in Clinton on Tuesday mornings and Seeley Lake on Tuesday afternoons. On Thursdays, the mobile clinic spends the morning in Lolo, then travels to Frenchtown for the afternoon.

The number to schedule an appointment with either the mobile clinic or Flynn Lane is (406) 258-INFO option 2.

Additional info can be found here.