CDC https://www.cdc.gov awarded $67 million “Epidemiology Laboratory Capacity” (ELC) https://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dpei/epidemiology-laboratory-capacity.html grants to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services https://dhss.deleaware.gov/dhss/dph/index.html Division of Public Health (DPH), to implement expanded testing capacity for COVID-19 and support the establishment of a modernized public health epidemiologic surveillance system.
DPH typically receives $1.5 million in ELC grant funds annually but due to the need to support COVID-19 activities, all states received an enhanced amount and a timeframe of 30 months to implement funding.
DPH plans to:
- Hire staff for enhanced lab surveillance, informatics, and other workforce capabilities
- Purchase testing and laboratory supplies to include specimen collection kits, lab reagents, and test kits for molecular and serology testing
- Implement new and advanced technologies for roust implementation of electronic lab and surveillance data exchange to and from the public health lab. This will include purchasing hardware, software, and systems like GIS mapping tools
- Implement new and advanced technologies to improve surveillance and reporting of electronic health data
- Use lab data to improve investigation, response, and prevention through contact tracing, surveillance/mapping, outbreak response, community testing events, and public dissemination of data
- Coordinate and engage with partners through training, outreach, workshops, communication technologies, and community testing events
“We are so grateful for the support from CDC and excited about how the funding will expand and support our data and surveillance systems,” said, Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director for the Division of Public Health. “We are currently working to enhance our platforms that support our data and surveillance systems, but this funding will greatly accelerate efforts to be where we want to be in our data analysis and use.”