Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Hawai‘i Secures $3 Million to Battle Infectious Disease

July 20, 2020, 6:46 AM HST
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The Hawai‘i Department of Health will receive more than $3 million in federal aid to battle infectious diseases.

US Sen. Brian Schatz on Monday announced the $3,340,633 federal package to help prepare for and respond to outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will support epidemiological activities including laboratory testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and coordination among public health officials.

“Improving our ability to detect and control infectious diseases early will help save lives,” said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “More funding for our public health programs means we can better manage the coronavirus outbreak, as well as prevent future pandemics.”

Funded through the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Cooperative Agreement helps local public health agencies prevent future outbreaks, respond quickly to infectious diseases, and improve health outcomes through science-based prevention and control strategies.

In addition to the funding announced Monday, Hawai‘i has received hundreds of millions in recent federal grants to support the public health system during the COVID-19 pandemic, including funding for rural health services, expanding contact tracing capacity, and replenishing stockpiles of personal protective equipment.

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