60 Embry Health COVID-19 testing sites will temporarily close

At least 60 Embry Health COVID-19 testing sites will close as federal government funding ends.

Embry Health has warned they could be forced to end free testing for uninsured patients if Congress doesn’t act quickly.

“If people don’t have free COVID-19 tests, they won’t be tested, which will put families and loved ones at risk. Therefore, Embry Health continues to encourage Congress to authorize timely additional funding for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccinations. This funding is critical to ensuring that the testing and vaccine infrastructure built by labs and providers across America remains available to all patients, regardless of insurance status,” said the CEO of Embry Health, Raymond Embry.

On Friday, Embry Health told ABC15 that 60 of their sites will hopefully close temporarily.

Larger sites will remain like Phoenix College, Mesa Community College and Peoria Sports Complex, but smaller testing sites like indoor schools and churches will close for the time being.

Embry plans to keep its equipment at these sites in case new funding passes or we see another surge of COVID-19.

Every day, about 3,000 patients are still being tested at different locations in Arizona.

Embry Health says they also haven’t seen any refunds from the HRSA program since March 16.

According to ABC News, a new agreement could be reached soon. Top Senate negotiators said they were close to reaching a deal to approve an additional $10 billion in COVID relief funding with just days before Congress goes on a two-week recess.

The Senate is expected to consider the bill as early as next week.

The renewed effort to pass additional funding to fight the coronavirus pandemic comes after negotiators were forced to withdraw $15.6 billion in aid from a government spending package earlier in March due to disagreements on how the invoice would be paid.

After days of bipartisan negotiations led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Mitt Romney, Romney told reporters on Thursday that lawmakers had reached “an agreement in principle on all expenses and compensation.” .

Romney said the $10 billion package would be “balanced entirely by offsets.”

The bill, however, would likely contain less than the $5 billion that Democrats have lobbied for the global vaccine effort, Romney warned. He said the bill should also be noted by the Congressional Budget Office before Republicans join us.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday implored Congress to act quickly.

“Congress, please act. You must act immediately. The consequences of inaction are serious. They will only grow with time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We have proven what we can do when we work together, so I urge Democrats and Republicans to do this urgently,” Biden said Wednesday from the White House.

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