Tennessee getting first shipment of 133,000 rapid COVID-19 tests for K-12 schools

Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey speaks during March news conference concerning the state's response to the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE - Tennessee is getting its first 133,000 of a projected 2 million rapid point-of-care coronavirus test kits, capable of producing results in the field within 13 to 15 minutes, officials say.

Gov. Bill Lee told reporters Tuesday that he intends to deploy the tests in his administration's continued push to reopen public K-12 schools across the state.

He added that "there'll also be opportunity for these to be used in the continued strong approach we have had in protecting the elderly in nursing homes and long-term care facilities."

The test kits are expected to begin arriving in Tennessee this week and continue into next week with additional shipments through the end of this year.

"These are very low-cost tests, about $5 to $6 apiece," state Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said. "Compare that to a traditional swab, which is $100 apiece."