Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Secures Contract for 26 Million Rapid Antigen Tests

For immediate release:
1/11/2022
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Governor's Press Office
  • Department of Public Health
  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services
  • Massachusetts National Guard

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Secures Contract for 26 Million Rapid Antigen Tests

Terry MacCormack, Press Secretary, Governor's Office

rapid tests

BOSTONToday the Baker-Polito Administration announced an order was placed with iHealth to supply the state with 26 million rapid antigen tests over the next 3 months. The tests will be prioritized to support K-12 schools and childcare settings. The agreement allows for shipments of tests to arrive on a rolling basis in the Commonwealth, but the Administration warns that the timing and shipment amounts will vary depending on international shipping and production variables.

The Baker-Polito Administration also released a public health advisory this week to advise all residents on when to seek tests for COVID-19. The advisory advises all residents to seek COVID-19 tests when exhibiting COVID symptoms, or five days following a known close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID pursuant to MA DPH quarantine and isolation protocols, updated as of December 29 in accordance with the new CDC guidance.

The new isolation protocols do not require a COVID-19 test to exit isolation after having COVID. This general rule also applies to childcare and K-12.  Additional information on testing protocols for specific situations in childcare can be found here and for K-12 can be found here.

The new quarantine protocols recommend, but do not require, all exposed individuals get a test five days after exposure.  Exposed individuals do not need to quarantine in the following circumstances:

  • If fully vaccinated and not yet eligible to receive a booster OR
  • If fully vaccinated and have received their booster OR
  • If they had COVID and it is less than 90 days since they were diagnosed.  For more details visit here.

DPH advises that a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen does not need to be confirmed with a PCR test.

DPH recommends individuals that have COVID symptoms and test negative with a rapid antigen test should isolate and either repeat an antigen test or get a PCR test in 24-48 hours if they continue to exhibit symptoms. Additionally, DPH does not advise employers, or schools and childcare, to require a test as a condition of returning to work or school.

View the public health advisory here.

Vaccination and getting a booster remain the best possible protection against COVID. There are almost 1,000 locations in the Commonwealth for residents to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster. Visit VaxFinder.mass.gov to book an appointment.

Massachusetts National Guard

Governor Baker also today activated 500 additional members of the Massachusetts National Guard to support the state’s health care system. This order expands the National Guard activation of 500 members announced on December 21 to support non-clinical functions in the Commonwealth’s hospitals. Prioritized uses for the newly activated 500 members will be to provide additional non-clinical staffing at community hospitals and high-volume emergency departments, public hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and dialysis centers. These guard personnel will be deployed beginning the week of January 17.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Secures Contract for 26 Million Rapid Antigen Tests

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and the Baker-Polito Administration are committed to serving the people of Massachusetts and making the Commonwealth a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Governor's Press Office 

Visit the Governor’s Press Office to learn about recent news from the administration, follow our happenings on social media, and for media contact information.

Department of Public Health 

DPH keeps people healthy and communities strong. We promote the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality public health and healthcare services, focusing on prevention and wellness, and health equity for all.

Executive Office of Health and Human Services 

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is the largest secretariat in state government and is comprised of 12 agencies, in addition to 2 soldiers’ homes and the MassHealth program. Our efforts are focused on the health, resilience, and independence of the one in four residents of the Commonwealth we serve. Our public health programs touch every community in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts National Guard 

The Massachusetts National Guard is an operational reserve of the United States Army and Air Force that provides ready, relevant and reliable troops and equipment to respond to natural disasters or other civil emergencies when activated by the Governor. The Guard also supports the federal military mission when activated to duty by the President of the United States.
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