WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $10.5 million in funding for Louisiana Community Health Centers to expand COVID-19 testing:

“Increasing testing capabilities are an important part of a safe reopening strategy, and Louisiana’s Community Health Centers play a critical role in the COVID-19 pandemic response. I applaud the Trump Administration for providing over $10 million in funding to 36 Community Health Centers across our state to expand COVID-19 testing. As our local economies begin safely reopening, this funding will boost testing capabilities so we can work to maintain the health and safety of our communities, defeat this virus, and come back stronger than ever.”

This funding is part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, signed into law by President Trump on April 24th. Louisiana will receive $10,460,799 in funding to support 36 health centers across the state.

According to HHS, HRSA-funded health centers will use this funding to expand the range of testing and testing-related activities to best address the needs of their local communities, including the purchase of PPE; training for staff, outreach, procurement and administration of tests; laboratory services; notifying identified contacts of infected health center patients of their exposure to COVID-19; and the expansion of walk-up or drive-up testing capabilities.