Harrisonburg Community Health Center receives $332,000 to test for coronavirus

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Hundreds of thousands of dollars are coming to the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County area to help expand testing for the novel coronavirus.

Bricker said extra tests also means needing to buy more PPE.

The Harrisonburg Community Health Center will receive $332,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The health center's COVID-19 task force is looking at how to best use the money. Along with having more tests overall, possibilities include creating a drive-thru testing area. The money will also help purchase more personal protective equipment.

Lisa Bricker, Harrisonburg Community Health Center's executive director, said it is important to listen to the science.

"It is critically important to for the well-being of our community," Bricker said. "More people who know that they have it gives them incentive to stay home and to self-isolate, and to control the spread of this virus."

The money HCHC is receiving is part of $583 million the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is awarding health centers across the country.

The grants are meant to provide funding for health centers to cover "necessary expenses to purchase, administer, and expand capacity for testing in order to monitor and combat COVID-19."

“We must expand testing capacity for COVID-19 in Virginia and across the country,” Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine said about the funding in a statement. “This federal funding will directly help health centers in Virginia achieve this. We will keep working to ensure that health centers receive the support they need to serve Virginians during this emergency.”