More people than ever have turned to rapid testing in the past few months as the Delta variant became the dominant strain and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) updated guidance reprioritized testing. Schools, businesses and families have begun to understand that convenient rapid testing is the critical companion tool to vaccines — and are seeking out tests at exponential rates.
That's why we've taken action to increase supply and bring fast and broadly available testing to the people and communities in the U.S. that need it most during this critical moment in the pandemic — especially as the weather changes and people head indoors, travel and gather for the holidays, and return to their pre-pandemic lifestyles.
BinaxNOW continues to be the No. 1 rapid antigen test in the U.S.1 We are ramping up our manufacturing capacity significantly and are now producing more than 50 million BinaxNOW tests per month at our U.S. manufacturing facilities — and we can scale even further.
In the past several weeks, we reopened our plant in Illinois, which was idled over the summer when demand for testing plummeted. And we are hiring additional workers at our facility in Maine to keep up with the demand. We're also adding new machines that automate parts of our manufacturing process. This surge in testing capacity means tens of millions more of our American-made BinaxNOW tests will be available in the coming weeks. That’s in addition to the tens of millions of easy-to-use tests we shipped in recent months.
As we step-up manufacturing and distribute additional supply in the coming weeks, we continue to closely monitor our supply chain to remain as responsive as we’ve always been to our diverse customer base. We remain nimble so we can get tests into the community through our retail partners, while also supporting the government in bringing tests to the places where they’re needed most — including nursing homes, underserved communities, disaster areas, shelters and more.
We want to help people quarantine only when necessary and keep places open where they're gathering. This will be even more important in the months ahead, especially as the pandemic transitions to become more endemic, breakthrough infections continue to occur, the seasonality of the disease becomes more broadly understood, and flu makes a comeback.
With decades of experience in tracking viruses like HIV — including developing the first HIV test more than 35 years ago — we quickly understood the important role testing needed to play when COVID-19 first hit. We self-invested in our U.S. operations to stand up two high-quality manufacturing facilities in a 90-day span in 2020.
That's why, since the onset of this pandemic, no company has made as many user-friendly tests — as affordably and as readily accessible — as we have.
We have always worked in the best interests of public health through this pandemic and will continue to do so with an unrelenting focus on helping people know their COVID-19 status with the country's No. 1 rapid test.
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This story was originally published on November 12, 2021 and updated on June 15, 2022.