Aug. 4 (UPI) -- A coalition of governors from seven states on Tuesday announced an interstate compact to expand COVID-19 testing.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, Massachusetts Gov. Carlie Baker, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam joined the compact along with the Rockefeller Foundation to expand rapid point-of-care antigen tests for the coronavirus by purchasing more than 3 million tests.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state would also join the compact after the initial announcement.
The states involved in the compact said they are in discussions with Becton Dickson and Quidel -- U.S. manufacturers of antigen tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration -- seeking to demonstrate "significant demand to scale up production of the tests by ordering 500,000 tests per state."
"Through this interstate compact, states are coming together to ramp up the use of rapid antigen testing to help better detect outbreaks more quickly and expand long-term testing in congregate settings such as schools, workplaces and nursing homes," the announcement read.
The Rockefeller Foundation will work with the states to help facilitate financing mechanisms to support the compact.
The states noted that the tests produced by the companies provide results within 15 minutes to 20 minutes, which can aid states in their efforts to reopen aspects of their economies.
"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," Hogan said.