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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, May 29, 2020

State gets $155M-plus for COVID-19 testing




The Department of Health and Human Services is giving $155,259,965 in new funding to Tennessee to support testing for COVID-19.

In total, $10.25 billion in funding is being provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to states, territories, and local jurisdictions through CDC’s existing Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases cooperative agreement.

This funding is part of the Trump Administration’s broader effort to ensure that states, territories, and tribes have the resources necessary to meet their testing goals as they begin to reopen.

This funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act will provide critical support to develop, purchase, administer, process and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contacts and related activities. These funds, along with the previous funding support CDC provided, will help states, territories, and localities with their efforts to reopen America.

“As the nation cautiously begins the phased approach to reopening, this considerable investment in expanding both testing and contact tracing capacity for states, localities, territories and tribal communities is essential,” says CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.

“Readily accessible testing is a critical component of a four-pronged public health strategy – including rigorous contact tracing, isolation of confirmed cases, and quarantine. As communities move toward a blended mitigation and containment strategy, I encourage all Americans to continue to embrace powerful public health measures – social distancing, hand-washing and face coverings. We are not defenseless in the battle against this pandemic.”

Each governor or designee of each state, locality, or territory receiving funds shall submit to HHS its plan for COVID-19 testing, including goals for the remainder of calendar year 2020, to include:

Number of tests needed, month-by-month to include diagnostic, serological and other tests, as appropriate

Month-by-month estimates of laboratory and testing capacity, including related to workforce, equipment and supplies, and available tests

Description of how the resources will be used for testing, including easing any COVID-19 community mitigation policies

Jurisdictions will use the funding they receive to meet the testing goals laid out in their COVID-19 testing plans, including purchasing supplies (such as test kits and other testing supplies, as necessary).