COVID-19 testing is getting another infusion of funding. The Department of Health and Human Services said it will invest $650 million from the American Rescue plan to strengthen manufacturing capacity for quick, high-quality diagnostic testing through rapid point-of-care molecular tests and increase access.
As at-home testing increases, the need for follow-up testing in health care settings will likely grow. For example, if someone buys an over-the-counter rapid antigen test at their local pharmacy to take at home and tests positive, they may seek out a health care provider who would conduct another test to confirm that result. This new investment will help ensure tests like these are readily available across the country and can provide results quickly.
“Access to fast, accurate, and reliable tests help keep Americans safe and healthy,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, said in a release. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we are increasing our testing supply, investing in American manufacturers, and continuing to support these critical tools for getting the pandemic under control.”
The funding follows $1 billion ear-marked by the Biden Administration, in October, to keep up with the increased demand for the diagnostics.
Last month’s initiative follows a September measure from the administration authorizing $2 billion to ensure tests are available to those who need them and to provide manufacturers with purchase commitments that allow them to ramp up their production.