Merkley, Wyden Announce $8 Million in Additional CDC Funding for Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced an additional $8 million in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funding to support Oregon in its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding supplements earlier awards of $10 million, bringing the total funding amount to $18 million.

The funding will be available to assist with activities including testing, contact tracing, data collection, and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in high-risk settings.

“We are facing a public health battle the likes of which we haven’t seen in a century,” said Merkley. “I’m pushing to secure funding like this for Oregon so that our state has the resources it needs to fight this battle on the frontlines. We can’t beat this virus and start getting back to some variation of normal without widespread testing and robust contact tracing, and while we’re still waiting for the missing federal leadership and plans for testing and tracing, this funding will at least help Oregon keep building its own plans and capacity.”

“Oregonians and the health care heroes working 24-7 during the COVID-19 crisis require full federal support for the accurate and rapid testing, tracing and more needed to protect our state now and to prepare for a safe future,” Wyden said. “These CDC resources will help achieve those objectives, and I won’t stop fighting to ensure the federal government fully equips Oregon to combat coronavirus in every part of the state.”

Today’s funding is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, which Congress passed in late March. The funding can be used for a variety of activities, including:

  • Establishing or enhancing the ability to aggressively identify cases, conduct contact tracing and follow up, as well as implement appropriate containment measures.
  • Improving morbidity and mortality surveillance.
  • Enhancing testing capacity.
  • Controlling COVID-19 in high-risk settings and protect vulnerable or high-risk populations.
  • Working with healthcare systems to manage and monitor system capacity.