As part of the recent Covid Relief package, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will distribute $10.25 billion to state, local, and territorial health departments to detect, respond, and prevent Covid-19. Here is the amount that your state, city/county (5), territory, or tribal nation will be awarded. The money goes to departments of epidemiology for key resources, contact tracing, infection prevention & control, surveillance & data analytics, and staff.
NMAC is concerned that given the silo nature of some health departments, money to departments of epidemiology will not reach HIV, STD, or Hepatitis programs, yet we are the programs that have the longest history and an existing infrastructure for testing that is so critical to the Covid-19 work. Is the HIV community ready and willing to expand its testing and screening programs to include Covid-19? Are STD programs ready to do Covid-19 contact tracing?
The state of California will get over $600 million in new funding, Puerto Rico gets over $83 million, and tribal awards are over $200 million. Plans from the epidemiologist for this funding are due May 30th. Why should health departments reinvent the wheel, when the HIV, STD, and Hepatitis programs have decades of experience? Working with community-based organizations, they can reach the communities that are hardest hit by HIV and Covid-19, communities of color.