Press Releases

Florida Congressional Members Send Letter Urging Gov. DeSantis to Develop Robust Testing Strategy

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West Palm Beach, FL, May 8, 2020 | comments

Today, Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-21) joined members of Florida’s congressional delegation in sending a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis urging him to prioritize the health and safety of Floridians when moving forward with reopening the state, including by producing a comprehensive testing strategy.

“The number one priority must continue to be saving Floridian’s lives,” said Rep. Frankel. “To do so, the reopening plan for our state needs to include a robust strategy for testing, contact tracing, and supported isolation to prevent new outbreaks that would threaten the health and livelihoods all Floridians.”

The letter states in part, “Florida is lacking essential tools that public health experts agree are critical to a safe reopening process: widespread testing, a robust contact tracing workforce, and supported isolation are interconnected pieces of the larger puzzle of reopening.”

The letter continues, “Testing is the only way to gain and maintain an accurate understanding of the prevalence of the virus. We need a comprehensive testing strategy to reopen safely. On April 24, 2020, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (P.L. 116-139). The law provides $25 billion in additional funding to boost COVID-19 testing efforts around the country. Under the law, each state is required to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 testing plan. The plan must include goals for the remainder of the year, including: (1) the number of tests needed, month-by-month, to include diagnostic, serological, and other tests, as appropriate; (2) month-by-month estimates of laboratory and testing capacity, including related to workforce, equipment and supplies, and available tests; and (3) a description of how the state will use its resources for testing, including as it relates to easing any COVID-19 community mitigation policies. The state’s plan is due 30 days from enactment of the law, May 24, 2020.”

For full text of the letter, click here. The letter was signed by Reps. Val Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Reps. Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Al Lawson (FL-05), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Darren Soto (FL-09), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24).

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