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ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Indian Health Service (IHS) has received an additional $1 billion to continue its response to the coronavirus in Indian Country. This funding is part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act passed by Congress on Dec. 27, 2020.

Of the $1 billion provided in the act, $790 million will support testing, contact tracing, containment, mitigation, and related activities to monitor and suppress COVID-19 in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The bill also provides $210 million for IHS, tribal, and urban Indian health programs to plan and prepare for coronavirus vaccines to ensure broad-based distribution, access, and vaccine coverage.

“The IHS sincerely values the support and the rapid and robust input from tribal and urban Indian organization leaders as we work together on a significantly accelerated timeline,” Acting IHS Director Elizabeth Fowler said. “We will continue to work in partnership with our tribal and urban Indian organization partners to distribute these critical resources for the immediate support of our COVID-19 response.”

The IHS initiated tribal consultation and urban confer on December 29, 2020, to seek rapid input regarding the allocation of funding for resources included in the bill.

The funds transferred to the IHS in this package bring the total funding level for support of IHS’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts to nearly $3 billion.

The IHS continues to work closely with our tribal and urban Indian organization partners, as well as state and local public health officials, to coordinate a comprehensive public health response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For more on the federal response in Indian Country, visit https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/.

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The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from RxDestroyer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the National Indian Health Board. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online.
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