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October 18, 2022

Maryland lawmakers secure funds to cover cost of COVID-19 tests for public school students and staff

Credit: CBS Baltimore

The Democratic members of Maryland’s congressional delegation have banded together to secure $67 million in federal emergency funding for the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, according to congressional staff.

The money will be used to pay for more than 1.3 million in COVID-19 tests, which were administered to Maryland public school students and staff between July 20, 2021, and May 31, 2022, congressional staff said.

Democrat Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen along with Democrat Reps. Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone banded together to secure the funding.

The Maryland lawmakers have been petitioning the Trump and Biden administrations to waive the standard 25% non-federal cost share of Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance during the pandemic, congressional staff said.

That assistance is now 100% covered by the federal government, according to congressional staff.

Lawmakers say the testing of school students and staff in 2021 and 2022 was critical in curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

To date, Maryland has received more than $260 million in pandemic relief from federal agency, congressional staff said.