For immediate release
Statement from APHL CEO, Scott J. Becker
Silver Spring, MD, March 17, 2021 – Today the US Department of Health and Human Services announced several steps to boost the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. APHL appreciates and commends the Biden administration’s ongoing commitment to taking aggressive actions to bring this pandemic to an end. The steps include:
- $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan to increase SARS-CoV-2 screening testing in school districts around the nation;
- $2.25 billion to scale-up testing in underserved communities; and
- New and updated guidance on the use of screening tests to reduce asymptomatic spread, testing and results interpretation for vaccinated individuals, setting-specific testing and more.
“We welcome this boost to our nation’s testing strategy for COVID-19,” said APHL CEO Scott Becker. “This is a good and timely use of American Rescue Plan funds.
“As a parent, increased screening testing in schools will give me the confidence that students, teachers and staff are returning to an environment where safety is a priority. As a public health professional, I recognize that widespread and proper use of screening tests in schools, non-health care workplaces, correctional facilities, and other congregate settings identified in the new CDC guidance joins social distancing and mask-wearing in our arsenal of effective COVID-19 mitigation strategies.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the administration and partners in strengthening our laboratory and testing capacity to help stop the spread of this deadly virus.”
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The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) works to strengthen laboratory systems serving the public’s health in the U.S. and globally. APHL’s member laboratories protect the public’s health by monitoring and detecting infectious and foodborne diseases, environmental contaminants, terrorist agents, genetic disorders in newborns and other diverse health threats. Learn more at www.aphl.org.
Contact: Michelle Forman (firstname.lastname@example.org)