Northwestern offers Abbott BinaxNOW over-the-counter rapid tests to faculty, staff and students


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

The Weber Arch. Northwestern obtained “a large number” of Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests for free use among faculty, staff and students.

Yunkyo Kim, Campus Editor

Faculty, staff and students now have access to free Abbott BinaxNOW over-the-counter rapid tests starting this week, Vice President for Operations Luke Figora announced Tuesday. 

In an email to the community, Figora wrote that Northwestern secured “a large number” of the rapid test, which was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use.

The rapid test kits are authorized for at-home use without prescription and display results within 15 minutes, the release stated. A box of the kit includes two rapid tests intended for serial testing with 36 hours in between. Furthermore, it is approved for children aged 2 and up when administered by an adult. 

“While high vaccination rates are the most important tool to enable increased social activity, we realize that not everyone can currently get vaccinated — notably children under the age of 12,” the release stated. 

The announcement comes after NU saw no new positive cases between May 14 and 20, according to the dashboard. The University estimates more than 75 percent of the student population is vaccinated.

The new tool intends to offer testing flexibility to community members, the release stated. 

“We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity and that it helps you and your family return to a more normal summer this year,” Figora said in the release. 

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Twitter: @YunkyoMoonK

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