WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton—along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman—applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for awarding Arkansas over $5 million in funding to expand access to COVID-19 testing in rural communities.

The investment—totaling $5,193,449—will be distributed to rural health clinics in Arkansas. It is part of $225 million allocated by HHS to expand COVID-19 testing in the nation’s rural communities.

The funds are designated for planning, implementing and conducting COVID-19 testing. The monies can also be used for testing supply procurement, employee training and data reporting, as well as the leasing, construction and retrofitting of properties, temporary structures and facilities to support COVID-19 testing.

“Rural America must not be left behind as we work to expand coronavirus testing across the nation. These communities are vital to a successful economic restart, especially in a largely rural state such as Arkansas. These funds will help state officials carry out their plan to reopen Arkansas in a safe manner,” members said.

Funding was made available with the support of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation’s approval of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that was signed into law last month.