Testing labs on the front lines of the COVID-19 battlefield are getting federal reinforcements. And it’s not just money. The new administration is taking an entirely new line of attack that differs from the approach of its predecessor in almost every conceivable way. Perhaps the starkest contrast is with regard to urgency, with the new president unveiling his COVID-19 testing strategy on his very first day in office. Here’s a quick overview of the five key elements of the Biden plan, aka, National Strategy for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. Provide More Money Let’s start with money. The administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan includes $50 billion to expand COVID-19 testing by providing funding to purchase rapid tests, expand lab capacity and support regular testing efforts of schools and local governments. Ensure Free COVID-19 Testing The new administration is continuing the free testing policy of its predecessor but in a much more direct and hands-on fashion. A new Executive Order establishes the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board to oversee implementation of a clear, unified approach to testing and directs agencies to facilitate testing free of charge for those who lack health insurance and to clarify insurers’ obligation to cover testing….

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