LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that Los Angeles and Orange counties are among multiple jurisdictions throughout the nation slated to receive millions of dollars in grants designated for states and localities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
"These grants demonstrate our steadfast commitment to keeping equity at the center of everything we do," Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said. "They are an important step in our unwavering efforts to strengthen our communities' readiness for public health emergencies -- and to helping everyone in America have equal opportunities for health."
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency were awarded $27.2 million and $22.9 million, respectively. A total of $2.25 billion was distributed nationwide, according to HHS, as part of the National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk & Underserved.
California as a whole will receive $195.55 million, officials said.
According to the award guidelines, recipients must use the money to "improve and increase testing and contact tracing among populations that are higher risk ... including racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural communities."
There is also a requirement that funds be applied to programs that improve "capacity and services to prevent and control COVID-19 infection."
The initiative is part of the Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. More information is available at https://taggs.hhs.gov/coronavirus.