On March 17, the Biden administration announced the availability of $2.5 billion in grant funding to address COVID-19 health disparities and advance health equity among high-risk and underserved populations.
The grants, available to state and local health departments that serve a population of 400,000 or more, will:
- Improve testing and contact tracing capabilities
- Develop innovative mitigation and prevention resources and services
- Improve data collection and reporting to advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to COVID-19
Applicants are strongly encouraged to develop partnerships and collaborate with key partners (including health care providers) that have existing community or social service delivery programs for racial and ethnic minority groups or people living in rural communities.
The focus on funding to improve testing and contract tracing for at-risk communities follows last month’s announcement of an $815 million investment by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to increase domestic manufacturing of crucial testing supplies and raw materials. These supplies and materials include filter pipette tips, nitrocellulose used in antigen point-of-care tests, and specific injected molded plastics needed to house testing reagents.