White House announces funding for COVID-19 projects

Feb. 18, 2021

The Biden Administration announced new funding to expand COVID-19 testing and supplies and to track and mitigate emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2, according to a news release.

Described as a bridge until Congress passes a COVID-19 relief bill, the plan includes:

·        $650 million to expand testing opportunities for K-8 schools and underserved congregate settings, such as homeless shelters. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will establish regional coordinating centers to organize the distribution of COVID-19 testing supplies and partner with laboratories across the country, including universities and commercial labs, to collect specimens, perform tests, and report results to the relevant public health agencies.

·         $815 million to increase domestic manufacturing of testing supplies and raw materials in short supply, including filter pipette tips, nitrocellulose used in antigen point-of-care tests, and specific injected molded plastics needed to house testing reagents.

·         $200 million to identify, track, and mitigate emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2 through genome sequencing. This will increase the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s sequencing more than threefold from about 7,000 samples per week to approximately 25,000, according to the White House.

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