Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew speaks at the opening of a makeshift COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at a former horse racing track in Scarborough on Wednesday Feb. 3, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Nearly 2,000 child care providers in Maine are going to get rapid COVID-19 testing.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew says 1,726 child care providers will be getting Bionex Now COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, with a goal of preserving the child care workforce and care for children.

There are enough rapid tests for child care providers with the capacity to serve nearly 50,000 children, Lambrew said.

“Maine’s effort to support childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic are having a positive effect. In Maine, 93 percent of childcare providers are open statewide from a low of just over 50 percent at the start of the pandemic,” she said.

The tests come from the state’s recent purchase of 250,000 Bionex Now rapid antigen tests, she said.