ME CDC Extends the Use of Rapid Antigen Testing Supplies

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) currently has 92,160 rapid antigen test kits in its warehouse with expiration dates in January and February 2022. In addition, Maine CDC recently distributed tens of thousands of kits with expiration dates in November and December 2021 to facilities across the state, and some of these will not be used before these expiration dates. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has acknowledged the issue of expired pandemic supplies and released Guidance for the Use of Expired SARS-CoV-2 Tests on December 10, 2020. This guidance states, “during the COVID-19 public health emergency, in order to address the concern over COVID-19 reagent and swab supply problems, CMS will allow laboratories to use expired COVID-19 test kits, reagents, and swabs.”

In light of this Guidance, Maine CDC is adopting a temporary policy to allow the use of expired but functional COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to allow Maine to continue its focus on alleviating the impact of COVID-19. This temporary policy applies only to rapid antigen tests, not to other testing supplies. This temporary policy will be in place until further notice.

Facilities in possession of rapid antigen tests may continue to use those tests after the expiration date, consistent with the CMS Guidance. Such tests should be used in accordance with their authorized instructions for use.

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