Over the next several weeks, about 3.8 million rapid COVID-19 tests will be distributed to nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the state. It’s a good step in slowing the spread of the coronavirus among the highest at-risk population, but it has to be part of a more-comprehensive testing strategy.

The benefit of the credit-card-sized antigen tests, which are being provided at no cost by the federal government, is that they can provide results in about 15 minutes. State health officials say that will allow nursing homes to quickly identify positive cases and have those individuals quarantined to prevent the virus from spreading throughout the facility.

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