US Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) and Larry Bucshon (R-Indiana) introduced two new pieces of legislation Wednesday intended to improve access to SARS-CoV-2 testing and boost laboratory capacity.
One bill, titled The Diagnostic Testing for Public Health Labs Act, would require the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to offer grants to help public health laboratories purchase high-throughput testing platforms and supplies as a way to boost testing capacity. Under the law, grants would be capped at $2 million per lab.
The bill covers state, local, and tribal public health laboratories, public health laboratories coordinated by the CDC, and other laboratories that provide "population-based testing for the prevention and control of infectious, communicable, genetic, or chronic diseases."
The other bill, titled Rapid Testing for Communities Act, would require the CDC to award grants to healthcare providers to support SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing outside of a laboratory, prioritizing underserved and rural areas. The grants would be used to purchase equipment and supplies to perform same-day diagnostic testing at the point of care. Grants would be capped at $20,000.