WASHINGTON DC – March 7, 2022 – The Biden administration announces a new program called the ‘Test-to-Treat’ plan so that Americans will be able to rapidly access COVID-19 treatments at the point-of-testing service. This one stop process will be run by the Department of Health and Human Services and administered by hundreds of pharmacy-based clinics, federally qualified community health centers, and long-term care facilities across the country. People who test positive for COVID-19 will be assessed by a qualified health care provider for immediate treatment with antiviral pills. Treatment with these new therapeutics can reduce the risk of developing severe illness, hospitalization, and death for persons with mild symptoms within days of onset.
The Department of Health & Human Services has purchased the new treatments in order to deliver early treatment free-of-charge to help at-risk people get the proper care when they get sick. “Our mission remains to protect the health and wellbeing of every American,” said Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. This initiative will also educate the public and health care providers about these new treatments.
The goal is to remove barriers to care that have historically existed for at-risk people with poor health care access. This allows for testing, assessment, prescription, and treatment to take place at one convenient location. The plan began on March 7, 2022. The testing does not have to take place at the Test-to-Treat site. Positive at-home COVID tests qualify along with assessment to receive treatment.
Public Health Director Stacie Saunders reached out to the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services. She writes that the, “NC DHHS (North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services) noted that at current understanding is that the initial sites for the program will be with the Federal Retail Pharmacy partners, the LTCF (Long Term Care Facilities) and FQHCs (Federally Qualified Health Care Centers) coming on board at a later time. More information may be available in the coming weeks.”
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