WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — One of the nation’s top representatives is pushing for more COVID testing resources this winter. Sen. Chuck Schumer requested the federal government to send a “surge” of at-home rapid COVID test kits to New York community health centers and their mobile sites.
According to Schumer, these testing strategies will help control the recently identified omicron variant that was confirmed in New York on December 2. “A key to controlling Omicron is the at-home test, where you can swab your own nose, follow simple steps, determine if you have COVID, and take the right steps thereafter,” Schumer said in a press release. “At-home tests are pretty affordable across the country, but they’re not free, but they should be. So, I am asking for the feds to send a surge of these to New York CHCs and their mobile sites where they should come at no cost. We should be arming the public with at-home tests to stay ahead of this variant into the winter.”
In the first week of December, Pres. Joe Biden announced a new plan to combat the coronavirus. This includes reimbursements to individuals for purchasing at-home tests. Guidance for this action is expected to be released on January 15.
However, Schumer is urging test kits to be sent to community health centers prior to guidance being issued. Schumer also said that funds to pay for these tests have already been directed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the American Rescue Plan.
There are over 70 federal community health centers, with 800 sites throughout New York.