March 17 - The U.S. government is investing $12.25 billion on ramping up COVID-19 testing in the country to help schools reopen safely and promote testing equity among high-risk and underserved populations.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Wednesday it will provide $10 billion to states to support COVID-19 screening testing for teachers, staff and students to assist schools resume in-person instruction.
Screening tests are primarily used in asymptomatic populations to determine the likelihood of having or developing a particular disease.
The remaining $2.25 billion HHS investment will be used to scale up testing among high-risk and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural areas, the U.S. health agency added.
“COVID-19 testing is critical to saving lives and restoring economic activity,” HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran said.
The funds will be taken from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was signed into law last week.
Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli