Deputy Chief Rich Kindelan of the Scarborough Fire Department is managing a free supply of Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid COVID-19 Antigen test kits that the state of Maine provided at no cost. Kindelan said that as of Nov. 25, five tests were administered to symptomatic EMS providers and emergency providers and all have come back negative. Courtesy photo

SCARBOROUGH — Town staff and emergency providers are now able to receive rapid COVID-19 tests, thanks to a program from the state of Maine.

The state has provided Scarborough with 40 Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen test kits, said Fire Department Deputy Chief Rich Kindelan, who is managing the tests and reporting back to the CDC. To administer the tests, individuals must be displaying symptoms.

According to the town of Scarborough’s Facebook page, the 400,000 kits that the state is providing to communities are part of a larger program to get tests out to essential workers and first responders.

Tests are currently available for emergency providers and EMS staff, Kindelan said.

“We’re still only doing them as needed,” he said. “These rapid tests are only designed to test symptomatic EMS and emergency providers, so only if they start experiencing COVID symptoms.”

Using prior tests, a symptomatic individual would need to wait three to five days before seeing results, Kindelan said. With these rapid tests results come in within 15 minutes after testing.


“The biggest part of it is having them available locally right here, and being able to control the testing procedure has made it so much more convenient,” he said.

The BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen test kits require the use of a reagent and a swab, Kindelan said. An individual receives a nasal swab and the reagent activates the test.

As of Nov. 25, five symptomatic individuals have been tested, each having negative results, he said. The town of Scarborough is eligible to receive another batch of testing kits from the state.

Having the testing kits and quick results benefits the town, Kindelan said.

“We have to be able to have that information at our fingertips to be able to continue to provide emergency services to the community we’re set to serve,” he said. “Getting that information and being able to make plans is a very important piece of that.”

In a press release sent out on Aug. 26 from Abbott, announcing the FDA approval of the BinaxNOW kits, Robert B. Ford, president and chief executive officer, said that the kits are designed for an ease-of-mind solution.

“We intentionally designed the BinaxNOW test and NAVICA app so we could offer a comprehensive testing solution to help Americans feel more confident about their health and lives,” he said. “BinaxNOW and the NAVICA app give us an affordable, easy-to-use, scalable test, and a complementary digital health tool to help us have a bit more normalcy in our daily lives.”

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