Wisconsin to receive more than $137 million for expanded COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus

FILE – In this April 10, 2020, file image made from video, a lab technician dips a sample into the Abbott Laboratories ID Now testing machine at the Detroit Health Center in Detroit. Federal health officials are warning about potential accuracy problems with the rapid test for COVID-19 used at thousands of hospitals, clinics and testing sites across the U.S., including the White House. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

WISCONSIN (WFRV) – Wisconsin is receiving more than $137 million in new federal funding to support coronavirus testing.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this is part of the $10.25 billion in funding being provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to states, territories, and local jurisdictions through its existing Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) cooperative agreement.

In total, Wisconsin is receiving $137, 077, 933 to expand its testing capacity.

HHS says 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.

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“This funding secured by President Trump for state, tribal, and local public health activities is a historic investment in America’s ability to track and control the spread of the virus, which is essential to a safe reopening,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “For the sake of all Americans’ health and well-being, we must help Americans get safely back to work and school, and that requires continued expansion of testing, surveillance, and contact tracing. The Trump Administration stands ready to support and guide states in their life-saving work to combat the virus and reopen our country.”

“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,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD. “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.”

Officials say each Governor or designee of each state, locality, or territory receiving funds will submit its plan for COVID-19 testing, including goals for the remainder of the year to HHS.

HHS says the plan will 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

Those receiving funding will then use it to meet testing goals laid out in their testing plans.

To view the list of funding recipients, click here.

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