On May 1, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush introduced H.R. 6666, the COVID-19 Testing, Reaching and Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act. This bipartisan bill would establish a grant program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fully mobilize coronavirus testing and contact tracing efforts. Grantees would include Community Health Centers, School Based Health Centers, academic medical centers, non-profits, and other entities who would hire and train individuals to operate mobile testing units, as well as outreach in hot spots and medically underserved areas.
“Reopening our economy and getting back to normal will be all but impossible if we do not step up our testing efforts and implement robust and widespread contact tracing,” said Rep. Rush. “Until we have a vaccine to defeat this dreaded disease, contact tracing in order to understand the full breadth and depth of the spread of this virus is the only way we will be able to get out from under this.
“The COVID-19 TRACE Act will allow us to do this by creating a $100 billion dollar grant program for local organizations to hire, train, and pay individuals and to purchase supplies to run mobile testing units and door-to-door outreach as is safe and necessary, with special preference being given to those operating in hot spots and medically underserved communities, as well as those entities who commit to hiring from these neighborhoods.
“I am immensely proud to see this bill receive bipartisan support and I hope to see the COVID-19 TRACE Act swiftly adopted by the House as a stand-alone bill or as part of a larger coronavirus response package.”
Entities eligible to receive funding through the COVID-19 TRACE Act grant program include but are not limited to:
- Federally Qualified Health Centers;
- School-based Health Clinics;
- Disproportionate-Share Hospitals;
- academic medical centers;
- non-profits, including faith-based organizations; and
- high schools and universities.