Biden Administration to Invest More Than $12 Billion to Expand COVID-19 Testing

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

As part of President Biden’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will invest $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan to ramp up screening testing to help schools reopen, $2.25 billion to scale up testing in underserved populations, and provide new guidance on asymptomatic screening testing in schools, workplaces, and congregate settings. These measures are part of President Biden’s strategy to increase COVID-19 testing nationwide as vaccinations increase.

“COVID-19 testing is critical to saving lives and restoring economic activity,” said HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran. “As part of the Biden Administration’s National Strategy, HHS will continue to expand our capacity to get testing to the individuals and the places that need it most, so we can prevent transmission of the virus and defeat the pandemic.”

(The March 17, 2021) announcement includes funding or guidance to:

  • Support COVID-19 screening testing to help schools reopen
  • Address disparities and promote equity in COVID-19 testing and mitigation
  • Provide clear guidance for implementation of testing, including screening testing
  • Support asymptomatic screening testing
  • Support COVID-19 screening testing in long-term care
  • The Departments of Health and Human Services and Defense have awarded a $255 million contract for the production and delivery of 50 million Abbott BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care antigen tests for COVID-19 to support continued screening testing in long-term care facilities.

The entire News Release provides more details/specifics.  All of these investments will help save lives and work to restore the country’s economy.