WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the Access to Technology and Equipment for Same-day Tests (TESTs) Act to expand coronavirus testing nationwide. This legislation will provide grants to health care providers to purchase same-day testing equipment, prioritizing awards to providers serving rural areas. It will also provide grants to public health labs to purchase high-throughput diagnostic testing machines that can simultaneously process thousands of coronavirus tests, as well as tests for other illnesses. 

“The ability to quickly and efficiently process coronavirus tests is key to putting this pandemic behind us,” said Senator Klobuchar. “This legislation will increase testing capacity in communities nationwide, especially those in rural, hard-to-reach areas. I’ll keep working to ensure our communities have the resources they need to defeat this virus and get back on their feet.”

“We need to get Americans back to work and our economy back to the heights we experienced before the coronavirus pandemic, and access to coronavirus testing is one of the keys to ensure that can happen everywhere, especially in our rural areas,” said Senator Braun.

This legislation complements efforts to ramp-up testing nationwide to help schools reopen, support underserved populations, and promote asymptomatic screening testing. Increasing testing capacity, while at the same time getting people vaccinated, is key to preventing transmission of the virus and defeating this pandemic.  

Since the start of the pandemic, Klobuchar has been committed to increasing coronavirus testing capacity and health care resources nationwide.

In March 2020, Klobuchar cosponsored the Free COVID-19 Testing Act to waive cost-sharing for coronavirus testing and related health care services for individuals enrolled in private health plans, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, VA as well as for federal civilians, American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Additionally, following Klobuchar’s calls for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand testing capacity with tests produced at academic laboratories -- such as the University of Minnesota’s Genomic Center -- HHS agreed to implement a streamlined process for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to collaborate on reviews of Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) submitted by laboratories working to develop and administer coronavirus tests.

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