Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $87 Million in Federal Funding to Increase Testing Capacity in Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that Oregon will receive nearly $87 million to boost the state’s coronavirus testing capacity.

“Expanding testing capacity is an essential step in our fight to treat, and eventually reopen, our communities,” said Merkley. “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. This funding is urgently needed, and I’m going to keep the pressure on my colleagues in Congress and the White House for the national strategy we need to complete the testing and contact tracing our communities need.”

“Oregonians need access to much greater testing capacity for their peace of mind and for their communities to have the certainty they need to move forward in the re-opening process,” Wyden said. “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.”

The funding, which was allocated by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, is being delivered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the State of Oregon based on a formula that considers the prevalence of coronavirus in states and their overall populations.

Senator Merkley led his colleagues in pushing the Trump administration to immediately craft, release, and implement a plan that includes robust testing for the coronavirus and expanded contact tracing, and has been outspoken in laying out a vision for adequate testing and contact tracing efforts in Oregon and across the country.