In an announcement by the office of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey $30 million in CARES funding for safety development programs and testing to be held at “public institutions of higher education and two-year colleges.”
According to the announcement, the programs will be led by a partnership of the Alabama Department of Public Health and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
“The agreement between the state of Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health and UAB is exactly the type of public-private partnership that is needed to adequately respond to the COVID-19 crisis,” Ivey said.
“We will only be able to acquire critical, life-saving resources by working together. Living with the coronavirus is our ‘new normal,’ and I appreciate the combined efforts to ensure that as we get back to our daily routines, we can do so safely as well as helping our valued researchers gain new information to combat this disease.”
According to the announcement, funds from the CARES act will be used to establish testing sites at universities to help students as they return for the 2020-2021 fall semester.
The announcement also stated that UAB is developing an app that will sent out alerts to students about coronavirus concerns. The app will be “potentially” available to university students, as well as K-12 students by the fall semester.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is going to continue at least into the fall and early winter, and the Alabama Department of Public Health wants to ensure we are doing everything we can to give our state the best opportunity to navigate the crisis as safely and effectively as possible,” said Scott Harris, state health officer and co-chair of Testing for Alabama.
“This free testing opportunity for all public college students will enable our state universities to have their finger on the pulse of what the prevalence of this infection is among their student body as they return and, over time, gives them the ability to monitor any change.”
A Memorandum of Understanding regarding this effort can be seen online.