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Pallone Leads Call for Extension and Expansion of Federal Contract Supporting Coronavirus Testing at New Jersey Pharmacies

May 29, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today led members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation in calling on the Trump Administration to maintain and expand federal support for coronavirus testing at New Jersey pharmacies. A federal contract providing support for testing at New Jersey pharmacies is scheduled to end May 31. In a letter to U.S. Department Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administer Peter Gaynor, Pallone and his colleagues requested the Trump Administration extend existing agreements with pharmacies in New Jersey for at least an additional three months and that additional testing kits be made available so new locations may participate. The letter was signed by Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-08), Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11).

“It is our understanding that federal support for some private testing sites is due to end in the coming days. Should federal support wane, we fear that testing capabilities across New Jersey will be reduced.  We respectfully request that the Administration extend existing agreements with private partners in New Jersey for at least an additional three months and that additional testing kits be made available so new testing locations may participate,” the letter states. “We urge you to reconsider ending federal support for private testing sites in New Jersey and instead expand support to cover additional locations and facilities given New Jersey’s continued need. In order to safely reopen, we must sustain and grow New Jersey’s testing capacity with federal support and resources.”

Coronavirus testing at pharmacies is critical for New Jersey to improve daily testing capacity to over 25,000 tests by the end of June. In May, the New Jersey Attorney General announced that the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs authorized licensed New Jersey pharmacists to widely administer COVID-19 tests to customers.

A copy of the letter is available here