Tester Announces Nearly $50 Million Headed to Montana to Expand COVID-19 Testing

Funding aimed at allowing state to test 2 percent of population

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that nearly $50 million is coming to Montana to help the state expand its COVID-19 capabilities.

The $49,914,794 is part of the nearly $11 billion in CARES Act funding Tester fought for to help states improve their overall testing ability, and is allocated based on a formula that considers prevalence of the coronavirus in the state and overall population.

“Testing is key to understanding how far the virus has spread so we can begin getting folks back to work quickly and safely,” Tester said. “It’s good news that Montana is getting this money, but we are still sorely lacking critical supplies that make testing possible. I will keep fighting to hold Washington accountable to Montana, and to secure not only funding, but the swabs, test kits, and personal protective equipment Montana’s health care providers need to conduct testing safely and effectively.”

Tester has been working tirelessly to ensure that Montana hospitals and health care facilities are prepared to combat the COVID-19 crisis. He recently secured $3 million for 14 Montana community health centers to expand COVID-19 testing, and he delivered nearly $200 million in relief funding for 121 rural Montana hospitals, health centers, and clinics. He also sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar urging him to guarantee that a portion of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund will be set aside specifically for rural providers, health care expenses, or lost revenues attributable to the pandemic.

Additionally, Tester secured more than $4 million for 48 rural Montana hospitals to help with pandemic response, and secured an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program to cover Montana’s rural hospitals. He recently demanded that the Trump Administration not leave rural hospitals behind in their coronavirus response, and he voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana hospitals, workers, families, small businesses, and others hardest hit by the outbreak, which included $1.25 billion for the state of Montana.

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak