Join Now

Utah Life Sciences News & Events

President Trump Announces $11 Billion For States to Meet COVID-19 Testing Goals

May 15, 2020

Earlier this week, President Trump announced that the administration was sending $11 billion in federal funding to states to boost their COVID-19 testing capacities. The $11 billion was originally approved as part of the CARES Act.  

In addition to the funding, the federal government will be assisting states with test-kit items, such as swabs, and helping to connect them with manufacturers of other critical supplies, such as reagents.

How much each state receives will be determined by a formula that reflects the burden of COVID-19 as well as population-based estimates. States with lower infection rates will receive at least the amount of specimen collection equipment needed to perform tests on 2% of the population.

The FDA, using its emergency authorization powers, has been issuing emergency use authorizations for new diagnostic tests, including self-collection test kits, antibody tests, and point-of-care testing. Utah-based IDbyDNA is participating in the CDC’s SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology, and Surveillance initiative (SPHERES) — a new national genomics consortium to coordinate SARS-CoV-2 sequencing across the U.S. 

The administration has partnered with leading retail companies as well as independent pharmacies to increase access to testing, and has said that by the end of this week, more than 300 retail testing sites will be ready to serve Americans in 47 states and D.C., prioritizing access in underserved communities. According to administration officials, more than 9 million tests have been completed nationwide.