Underwood Works to Bring Public Health Resources to Illinois; Announces an Additional $286 Million in Emergency Funding

May 26, 2020
Press Release
Resources will expand Illinois’s ability to test and trace coronavirus

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced that Illinois will receive $286 million through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which Underwood strongly supported in Congress and was signed by the President in April, provides urgently needed resources to small businesses, protects health care workers, and expands access to coronavirus testing. The public health funding allocated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging and Infectious Diseases program can be used to expand Illinois’s ability to conduct coronavirus testing and contact tracing.  

“The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act will provide critical public health investments that will help our community fight this virus and safely reopen our economy,” said Rep. Underwood. “The funding announced this week will help Illinois public health officials conduct coronavirus surveillance and develop long-term strategies for keeping our communities safe and healthy.” 

During the coronavirus pandemic, Underwood has continuously worked to bring federal resources to the 14th District to support public health systems. In total, the state of Illinois has received $326 million in emergency funding for public health initiatives through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

The funding provided through the CDC’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging and Infectious Diseases can be used to support:  

  • Surveillance, Detection, and Response:  
  • Enhance investigation and outbreak response  
  • Improve surveillance and reporting  
  • Strengthen laboratory testing for response  
  • Improve laboratory coordination and outreach to improve efficiency  
  • Enhance workforce capacity  
  • Enhance coordination between epi-lab  
  • Advance electronic information exchange implementation  
  • Sustain and/or enhance information systems  
  • Enhance laboratory testing for surveillance and reporting  
  • Prevention and Intervention:  
  • Implement public health interventions and tools  
  • Implement health promotion strategies  
  • Implement public health best practices, guidelines, programs, and policy  
  • Surveillance data used to inform and prepare intervention strategies  
  • Communications, Coordination, and Partnerships:  
  • Facilitate information dissemination to the public regarding infectious disease surveillance and prevention strategies  
  • Enhance collaborations between state epidemiology and laboratory as well as regional/local public health departments  
  • Strengthen partnerships between public health, hospital infection control, and clinical labs