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President Trump announced on Monday that the federal government will distribute 150 million rapid, point-of-care coronavirus tests to states over the next few weeks, including to K-12 schools and vulnerable communities like nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has stressed the importance of reopening schools in allowing parents to return to work and jumpstarting the economy.

What's happening: Who gets tested is ultimately at the discretion of the governors, but the administration is encouraging schools to use the rapid tests to help restart and maintain in-person teaching.

  • The rapid tests, which deliver results in 15 minutes, will come from a previously announced supply of 150 million tests ordered from Abbott Laboratories. Teachers and parents would be able to test their children on a weekly basis.
  • 6.5 million tests will go out this week and a total of 100 million tests will be distributed to governors based on state population over the next several weeks, Trump announced.

Yes, but: The rapid tests are less accurate and could need confirmation from more sensitive PCR swab tests, which take days for results.

  • Health officials also fear many of the tests will go unreported, as states could authorize tests outside of a health care setting — leading to underreported state and nationwide case counts.

The big picture: Experts have warned the U.S. could experience a surge in COVID-19 infections this fall and winter.

What they're saying: "As of today, the nation has performed over 111 million tests for the virus causing COVID. On 13 separate days, we have achieved tests of over 1 million per day, and our average test numbers are now approximately 920,000 per day," the administration's testing coordinator Adm. Brett Giroir said Monday before demonstrating how to use a rapid test.

  • "We are now at an inflection point for testing. We now have available on average 3 million tests per day, not counting pool testing which could multiply that number several-fold. Nearly half of our current tests are rapid point-of-care."

Go deeper

Jan 5, 2021 - World

Israel tightens COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

Despite launching one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, Israel has had to counter a spike in new COVID cases in recent weeks. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

Israel will impose new restrictions in its countrywide lockdown, closing schools and nonessential businesses beginning Friday to combat surging cases of the coronavirus, government ministers voted Tuesday.

The big picture: Israel’s COVID-19 cases, which dropped in October, have jumped to more than 5,000 reported daily in the new year, Johns Hopkins University data shows. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the public Tuesday to heed new restrictions as a faster-spreading variant of the virus first detected in the U.K. multiplies.

Rep. Kevin Brady tests positive for the coronavirus

Rep. Kevin Brady. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced Tuesday night that he's in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

Why it matters: He's the second House member this week to test positive for the coronavirus after having the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine, following Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas). Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and others require two doses to protect against the virus.

Go deeper:

Jan 5, 2021 - Health

WHO leader "disappointed" after China delays approval of COVID origin investigation

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a July 3 press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/pool/AFP via Getty Images

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus admonished China on Tuesday for delaying authorization that would allow groups of scientists from other countries to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan.

Why it matters: We still don't know how the pandemic began.