Texas Clinic Gets Federal Grant Funding To Expand Covid-19 Testing

One of the most important aspects in managing the global pandemic that is COVID-19, is ensuring that people can get tested for the virus. From the beginning, state department officials, governors, and health experts have stressed the importance of having enough tests as a way to manage the pandemic. The rollout for tests may not have been quick enough, but now various states and government officials are working hard to try and expand their testing capabilities to be able to match the demand for them. Medical facilities in Texas, a state with over 35,000 cases recently applied for government grants to be able to expand testing. With several counties receiving those grant funds.

Slowing The Spread: Clinics In The Fight Against COVID-19

One clinic specifically, La Esperanza clinic, has received a federal grant of more than $250,000 to help the clinic and it’s staff to expand them expand their current testing capabilities. The clinic had already received $822,080 in federal grant funding in April, to help them fight the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Here’s why this is incredibly important. La Esperanza Clinic is a federally qualified health clinic, otherwise known as a community clinic. These types of clinics actually rely partially on federal funds to begin with, which is what qualified them to receive the funds in the first place. For many people who are medically underserved, such as some of the residents of San Angelo, this kind of clinic is necessary for them to receive proper healthcare. But also, having this clinic be able to perform COVID-19 testing, means that people who live in those communities will have access to testing in the first place, which could mean containing the virus, in a way that wouldn’t be at all possible without proper testing.


Community-Care: Keeping People Safe During A Pandemic:

What La Esperanza plans to do with all of the funding they have received is actually incredibly important as well. Obviously, the more recent funds they received this month will go towards expanding their testing capabilities, but the funding they received in April is important as well because it helped La Esperanza to keep their doors open amidst a raging pandemic, and to help those who are the most vulnerable, especially at a time like this.

Last month, La Esperanza Clinic’s CEO Dean Munn said this about receiving federal grant funds:

“Our purpose is to help the underserved patients, low-income, medicare and Medicaid, private insurance, and self-pay. For the most part, we try not to turn people away for inability to pay. The grant itself is absolutely necessary, and I think everybody understands that we need to keep our doors open, we need to keep our existing staff.”

Beyond maintaining all current staff and avoiding furlough, those grant funds also went (and are still going towards) supplies that are related to COVID-19, which are sorely needed. This would include personal protective equipment like gloves, gowns, and masks.

Expanded Testing: Needed Right Now:

And now, La Esperanza clinic has been awarded $252,709, to aid in testing and expanding the range of testing related activities for COVID-19. This grant is being awarded through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas had this to say when announcing the grant funding last week: In order to most effectively combat the spread of this dangerous virus in Texas, our health centers must be equipped to test for COVID-19 efficiently,” Cornyn said in the release. “I’m thankful to the Trump Administration for further expanding access to testing in San Angelo”

Texas as a state, currently has 35,390 positive cases, with 18,440 people said to have recovered and 973 confirmed deaths. Many counties have applied for and been awarded similar funding.

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