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Idaho to get $30 million to reduce COVID health disparities

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Idaho was awarded $30.7 million in federal coronavirus relief funds Wednesday to address health disparities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The money awarded Wednesday is part of the $2.25 billion in supplementary funding previous approved by Congress. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the money is intended to improve COVID-19 testing and contact tracing for at-risk populations, improve state and local health department services and address health disparities related to the pandemic, The Lewiston Tribune reported.

“The pandemic laid bare longstanding health inequities, and health departments are on the front line of efforts to address those inequities,” José Montero, director of the CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, said in a prepared statement. “These grants will provide health departments with much needed support to address disparities in communities that need it most.”

More than 193,000 Idaho residents have been infected with coronavirus since the pandemic began, including 138 new cases reported by state health officials on Wednesday. At least 2,116 Idaho residents have died from the illness, according to numbers from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

More than 694,000 people in the state have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, state health officials say.

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