Trump administration pulls funding for drive-through COVID-19 testing

Enlarge / A drive-through COVID-19 testing site operated by Omni Healthcare in Melbourne, Fla. on April 8. (credit: Paul Hennessy | Echoes Wire | Barcroft Media | Getty Images)

One of the biggest challenges hampering US institutional response to the COVID-19 crisis is testing: when you can’t identify who has the disease, you can’t tell who might transmit it, or where they might do so. After critical months of delay, the US finally ramped up testing, but now, just as experts forecast many states are heading into the peak of this emergency, the federal government is ending funding for some successful testing programs.

The feds will stop covering the tab for most community testing sites as of Friday (tomorrow), April 10, NPR reports.

These popular drive-through sites have helped bolster other testing efforts in counties, towns, and cities nationwide. NPR spoke with officials in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County who said their drive-through site has tested at least 250 individuals per day since opening on March 21. By the time it closes Friday due to lack of funding, officials said, more than 5,000 tests will have been performed at that site.

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