The national U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will disburse $3.3 million to the Hawaii Department of Health for infectious disease preparation and response.

The federal funds come directly from the national Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Cooperative Agreement.

The funds will cover epidemiological activities including laboratory testing, contact tracing, disease surveillance, and “coordination among public health officials,” according to an announcement from Sen. Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“Improving our ability to detect and control infectious diseases early will help save lives,” Schatz said in a press release. “More funding for our public health programs means we can better manage the coronavirus outbreak, as well as prevent future pandemics.”

Millions of dollars in federal grants have already been designated for Hawaii’s COVID-19 response to cover expenses such as expanding contact tracing capacity, replenishing stockpiles of personal protective equipment, and helping local providers and rural health services.

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