The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is distributing 40 COVID-19 rapid testing machines and 2,400 tests to rural Alaska communities with limited air service.

The consortium is working with tribal partners to distribute Abbott ID NOW testing units and kits. Regional tribal health organizations will determine where the testing materials go within their region, according to a Monday news release from Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

“Our deepest gratitude goes out to Abbott for recognizing the history and logistical challenges rural Alaska communities face, and for their supply of the ID NOW testing units, where we know testing will have a much greater impact in savings lives and communities for a comparatively insignificant number of tests,” said Andy Teuber, ANTHC chairman and president.

“Testing for COVID-19 is a primary tool in our effort to keep the pandemic out of our Alaska Native communities, and we are grateful to Abbott for recognizing the critical importance of this measure, and our staff, who have been working tirelessly to see this effort through to fruition,” he said.