Oregon’s COVID-19 testing gets $87 million federal boost

WASHINGTON D.C. — Oregon is receiving $87 million in federal funding from the coronavirus relief package to expand the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity, Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced in a press release Wednesday.

“Expanding testing capacity is an essential step in our fight to treat, and eventually reopen, our communities,” Merkley said in a statement. “The reality is that coronavirus testing is still limited in Oregon and in states across the country — a major problem that is only making it more difficult for us to understand and respond to the scope of this pandemic.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is delivering the funding to the state based on a formula that considers the prevalence of coronavirus in states and their overall populations, according to the release. 

“These resources to expand testing capacity in our state are a good step in the right direction, and I will keep battling for a comprehensive testing program that gives Oregonians confidence in the federal response to this public health crisis,” Wyden said in a statement.