CDC to Invest $2.1B to Protect Americans from COVID-19 and Future Infectious Diseases

Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a $2.1 billion investment to improve infection prevention and control activities across the U.S. public health and health care sectors. The investment, made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), seeks to strengthen and equip state, local, and territorial public health departments and other partner organizations with resources needed to better fight infections in U.S. health facilities, including COVID-19 and other known emerging infectious diseases.

Over the next three years, CDC will issue $1.25 billion of the total to 64 state, local, and territorial health departments to support this infection prevention and control work. Initial awards totaling $885 million will be made in October 2021 and will be used to support the following activities:

  • State-based nursing home and long-term care strike teams – The funding from CDC, in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), will allow state and other jurisdictional health departments to staff, train, and deploy strike teams to assist skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities with known or suspected COVID-19 outbreaks. The strike teams will allow jurisdictions to provide surge capacity to facilities for clinical services, address staffing shortages at facilities, and strengthen infection prevention and control activities to prevent, detect, and contain outbreaks, including support for COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
  • Strengthening state capacity to prevent, detect, and contain infectious disease threats across health care settings – CDC will allocate significant infection prevention and control assistance to public health departments to work with health facilities to improve the quality of care, strengthen interventions for the prevention and containment of infectious diseases to minimize the spread of infection in a variety of settings, identify, address, and monitor health-related disparities and health equity, and increase capacity to investigate outbreaks of health care- associated infections (HAI).
  • Laboratory capacity for health care – Funds will also increase state and regional laboratory capacity to conduct surveillance for emerging pathogens to better identify patients infected with or carrying infectious disease threats, such as antibiotic resistant germs.
  • Project Firstline – Funds will expand efforts to design and implement effective infection prevention and control training and education to frontline health care staff, leveraging a unique collaborative of health care, public health, and academic partners. Project Firstline seeks to meet various education needs of diverse health care workforce personnel, ensure personnel have the knowledge necessary to protect themselves and patients, and develop training and education that addresses disparities across health settings.
  • National Health Care Safety Network (NHSN) – CDC will increase data and monitoring activities through the NHSN to determine where and when infections occur in health settings. Funds will support state efforts to improve NHSN data collection from health facilities, including state coordination, reporting expansions, and technical assistance provision.
  • Antibiotic stewardship – Funds will additionally support state data analyses of antibiotic use and implement programs to improve antibiotic prescribing across communities, including addressing health disparities related to antibiotic use.

In addition to the amounts provided to state, local, and territorial health departments, $880 million in funding will be used over several years to support health care partners, academic institutions, and other nonprofit partners to develop new prevention interventions and capacities for infection prevention and control training, data collection, and technical assistance.

Additional information on the funding announcement from the CDC is available here.