The Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to take steps to ensure access to COVID-19 at-home rapid antigen test kits, which are a critical tool to mitigate transmission of COVID-19. As demand for these test kits remains high across the country, the Operational Services Division (OSD) is sharing this update to ensure that buyers such as municipalities, educational institutions, and other entities understand all options available to them. This guidance is for these entities looking to purchase rapid test kits for distribution to their constituents, not individuals looking to purchase test kits.
On December 13, 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that it secured 2.1 million iHealth Labs over-the-counter, at-home rapid antigen tests that were delivered to 102 cities and towns in Massachusetts with the highest percentage of families below the poverty level, according to US Census data. These kits were delivered to those communities free of charge, as part of a focus on increasing access for individuals and families who are facing financial hardship.
In addition to that one-time distribution, OSD also is making buyers aware of several other options to purchase these test kits for distribution to their constituents. Municipalities are eligible to utilize available American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase these test kits. Given the high demand across the country, and the level of interest from a wide range of entities in purchasing these test kits, OSD recommends that buyers review their options and take steps toward making orders should they be interested in purchasing these products.
COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits Available Direct from Manufacturers
The Commonwealth has been soliciting bids for COVID-19 at-home rapid antigen test kits directly from manufacturers through the newly established HSP41 Category 10 Statewide Contract (SWC). According to the bid solicitation, all test kits offered through this contract must have an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and be approved for non-prescription, at-home use.
As of this week, three manufacturers have been added to this new SWC category: Ellume USA LLC, iHealth Labs, Inc., and Intrivo Diagnostics, Inc.
Additional manufacturers are expected to be added to this contract category through the bid posting/rolling enrollment period, which closes on March 31, 2022. Based on manufacturer requirements, including minimum order requirements, this option may not work for all buyers.
Click here to access the Contract User Guide.
Use the links below to begin the ordering process for each contract:
COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits Available from Distributors
To help meet immediate needs, there also are distributors on existing statewide contracts that offer COVID-19 at-home rapid antigen test kits. Combined, these contracts feature multiple vendors/distributors who are ready to serve your needs:
HSP40 – Medical Commodities, Direct purchase from one distributor/vendor:
- McKesson Medical-Surgical Minnesota Supply
HSP41 – Laboratory Supplies & Equipment, Category 3, Clinical Diagnostics Products & Supplies, Direct purchase from two distributors/vendors:
HLS06 – Homeland Security and Public Safety, Direct purchase from two distributors/vendors:
- Merrow Manufacturing, LLC
- Safeware, Inc.
These contracts make test kits available to buyers via distributors. Further details about how to take advantage of these contracts are laid out below.
Click here to view the Resource Guide for manufacturer and distributor contact information, test name, pricing, and availability.
Other resources and information are available on the OSD pages on mass.gov.
Best Practices for Ordering COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Kits
Sign up to attend our upcoming webinar that will review the various options available to buyers and guidance for purchasing.
Date: Thursday, January 6, 2022
Time: 1:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Ancillary Goods Available for Purchase or Rent
OSD has received inquiries about items needed by communities to establish temporary outdoor facilities to distribute COVID-19 at-home rapid antigen test kits. Related items are available for purchase and rental through OSD's Statewide Contracts.
- Tents and Traffic Cones: HLS06
- Generators: FAC100, FAC101, FAC105
- Tents, Chairs, Tables, Generators, Heating Units, Light Towers, Portable Potties, among many items: FAC112
- Fences: FAC93
Please know OSD is in continuous contact with the contracted manufacturers and distributors regarding inventory and delivery status and we will remain in contact with our buyers, to keep buyers apprised of developments and updates to assist in obtaining the needed materials. We thank you for your patience.
OSD Recommendations for Ordering
To assist buyers in acquiring COVID-19 at-home rapid antigen test kits, OSD recommends the following actions:
- Each contract has specific instructions for ordering goods. Using the process outlined in the Contract User Guide for each contract, submit your pricing request or Request for Quotes (RFQ).
- Request price quotes/place orders in accordance with your normal procurement process: COMMBUYS for Executive Departments and COMMBUYS‐enabled entities; or contacting SWC Vendors directly for eligible entities that are not COMMBUYS‐enabled.
- Specify that the Tests requested must have an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and be approved for non-prescription, at-home use.
- Contact multiple manufacturers and distributors to obtain price quotes. The demand for Rapid Antigen Test Kits is high and inventories are changing rapidly.
- Review all price quotes and place an order with the vendor(s) who meet your due diligence requirements based on product availability, cost, and need.
- Be sure to order now for the items needed today and in the near future.
- Be certain to cancel orders if your needs change.
- Entities eligible to purchase and procure goods and services from OSD’s Statewide Contracts (not Executive Departments) are reminded to conduct procurements in accordance with all laws and regulations that pertain to that entity (Chapter 30B for municipal organizations, as an example). Check with your local legal counsel for advice.
Who Is Eligible to Order
- Cities, towns, districts, counties, and other political subdivisions
- Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches, including all departments and elected offices therein
- Independent public authorities, commissions, and quasi-public agencies
- Local public libraries, public school districts, private schools, charter schools, and early childhood centers
- Public hospitals owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Public and private institutions of higher education
- Public purchasing cooperatives
- Non-profits in either of the below categories, if they are registered with OSD as listed below
- Non-profit human and social service providers under contract with the Commonwealth; and
- Other non-profit organizations receiving public funding from state, federal, or local governments in the form of appropriated funds, grants, or contracts.
- Other states and territories with no prior approval by the State Purchasing Agent
- Other entities when designated in writing by the State Purchasing Agent (individual cities and towns or school districts in other states where the entire state is not authorized to purchase)
Questions? Please contact the OSD Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-888-627-8283.