Texas receives $31M in federal dollars to expand coronavirus testing

Three Legacy Community Health Services Inc. staff members stand in a COVID-19 testing tent. The health care center is receiving a $2 million federal grant to expand its testing capabilities. (Courtesy Legacy Community Health Services Inc.)
Three Legacy Community Health Services Inc. staff members stand in a COVID-19 testing tent. The health care center is receiving a $2 million federal grant to expand its testing capabilities. (Courtesy Legacy Community Health Services Inc.)

Three Legacy Community Health Services Inc. staff members stand in a COVID-19 testing tent. The health care center is receiving a $2 million federal grant to expand its testing capabilities. (Courtesy Legacy Community Health Services Inc.)

Health care centers across the nation will receive additional funding for coroanvirus testing, as the Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded about $583 million to nearly 1,400 HRSA-funded health centers in the U.S., according to a May 7 press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

About $31.1 million of the $583 million is going to 72 HRSA-funded health care centers in Texas in individual amounts ranging from $127,189 to $2 million, according to the HHS website and the press release.

The funding comes from the Paycheck Protection Program and the Health Care Enhancement Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law April 24, according to the release. This latest funding brings the total COVID-19 investment to health centers to nearly $2 billion from the Trump Administration, per the release.

About $4.8 million was awarded to 10 Houston centers, roughly $1.4 million was awarded to five Dallas centers, and approximately $2.2 million was awarded to two Austin centers, according to the HHS website. A list of all 72 Texas centers and their grant amounts is available at the end of this article.

According to the release, the funds will be used to expand testing and testing-related activities, such as:

  • buying personal protective equipment;

  • investing in staff training;

  • procuring tests;

  • administering tests;

  • conducting contract tracing;

  • performing laboratory services; and

  • expanding walk-up and drive-thru testing capabilities.


“Widespread testing is a critical step in reopening America, and health centers are vital to making testing easily accessible, especially for underserved and minority populations,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the release.


In Texas, 455,162 coronavirus tests have been administered, 14,661 of which were conducted in public labs, according to data available at 5:55 p.m. May 7 from the Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard

A total of 35,390 cases have been reported, and 18,440 have recovered. About 1,750 COVID-19 patients are in a Texas hospital. There have been 973 fatalities.