The governors of Virginia and Maryland are among six state leaders that have united to show private companies the need for significant scaled-up production of rapid test kits that deliver results in 15 to 20 minutes.
The bipartisan deal, which additional states and cities might join over the next week or so, will also coordinate policies and protocols regarding testing technology.
The states — which include Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio — are in discussions with Becton Dickinson and Quidel to purchase 500,000 tests per state for a total of three million tests.
Months into the pandemic, the Trump administration has yet to develop an efficient national testing system, leaving states to come up with their own plans and secure their own equipment.
“With severe shortages and delays in testing and the federal administration attempting to cut funding for testing, the states are banding together to acquire millions of faster tests to help save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said in a statement.