February 01, 2021 - 3 min read
COVID-19 testing under the Biden administration
Monitoring shifting policies to keep you informed
A new direction
At Blue Shield of California, we are committed to staying informed on government policies and the COVID-19 pandemic strategy to provide the most relevant and timely information. With the recent transition to the Biden administration, there have been important updates to the COVID-19 testing approach.
Anticipated shifts in strategy and policy
Expanding COVID-19 testing is a top priority under the Biden administration’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. Increasing access to testing is integral in containing the spread, preventing outbreaks, and safely reopening schools and businesses.
The Biden administration has proposed a $50 billion plan and issued executive orders to establish a COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board, consisting of experts across the nation, to help develop a clear, unified approach to testing. This will enable frequent testing for screening purposes and increase accessibility for underserved communities hardest hit by COVID-19.
A key component of the new strategy is to accelerate the manufacturing, production, and delivery of testing equipment, which has often been a bottleneck in the turnaround time for quick PCR test results.
Under the proposed plan and the Defense Production Act, there will be an increase in supply of sample collection swabs, test reagents, laboratory analysis machines, rapid antigen testing, and personal protective equipment for sample collectors.
Passed by Congress in 1950, the Defense Production Act gives the President the ability to use America's industrial manufacturing companies (e.g., carmakers, lumber mills, telecommunications firms, etc.) to aid in national defense or assist the government's efforts to mitigate the fallout from natural disasters.
Other focus areas of the plan include supporting COVID-19 screening for schools and priority populations, standing up a CDC Testing Support Team, and ensuring that testing is free of charge for those without health insurance.
Keeping our members up to date
Blue Shield of California is closely monitoring federal regulations and will provide frequent updates to members and employer groups. Visit our member website for testing information, and subscribe to the News Center for Blue Shield announcements.
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