As part of his national strategy for COVID-19 response and pandemic preparedness, President Biden today announced a series of new actions aimed at expanding COVID-19 testing, improving availability of tests and better prepare for the threat of variants As the administration works around the clock to vaccinate the population, we must continue to do what we know is effective in protecting public health: universal masking, physical distancing and robust tests These down payments will serve as a gateway to full test investments in the US bailout
Scaling up COVID-19 testing for schools and underserved populations The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), will make an investment of $ 650 million to expand testing opportunities for K-8 schools and underserved gathering places, such as homeless shelters The HHS will establish regional coordination centers to organize the distribution of COVID-19 testing supplies and partner with labs across the country, including universities and commercial labs, to collect samples, perform tests and report the results to the relevant public health agencies Too often testing can be difficult to implement in non-medical settings or it can be difficult for schools or other community settings to find the right partner for testing to work. These coordination centers will identify existing testing capacity, match it to an area of need and fund these tests.
Increase domestic manufacturing of test supplies HHS and DOD will invest $ 815 million to increase domestic manufacturing of testing supplies and raw materials that have created shortage issues, including filter pipette tips, nitrocellulose used in point-of-care antigen testing and the specific injected molded plastics required to house test reagents
Rapidly Increase Genome Sequencing of Viruses The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will invest nearly $ 200 million to identify, track and mitigate emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2 through genome sequencing This down payment will triple CDC sequencing from approximately 7,000 samples per week to approximately 25,000 Increasing samples will improve our ability to detect emerging variants and understand their spread with greater precision Extensive testing is underway essential to support further genomic sequencing, as sequencing only occurs after a positive COVID-19 test
These investments are just the start of what is needed to expand testing nationwide and bring the pandemic under control The American Rescue Plan will invest $ 50 billion to expand and support testing, including in settings priorities like schools and shelters, and investing in US testing capacity so that public health officials can track the virus in real time and Americans can get results efficiently
Joe Biden, US President, School
Ebene News – UA – Backgrounder: President Biden announces new actions to expand and improve COVID-19 testing