Maine community health centers are receiving an additional $4.7 million in federal funding to expand COVID-19 testing in the state.

The funding will be distributed among 18 community health centers in the state, according to U.S. Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. It was included in a $480 billion bipartisan agreement that was signed into law last month, which included $25 billion for COVID-19 testing efforts, they said.

“Community health centers are the backbone of Maine’s rural health care system, and they have been instrumental in helping to protect Mainers’ health during the current public health crisis,” said Collins and King said in a joint statement. “Expanded testing is crucial for our ability to ultimately reopen our society and to give Mainers the confidence to resume their daily lives.”

The funding will be used to increase walk-up and drive-up testing, as well as to purchase personal protection equipment necessary to help protect those on the front lines, they said.

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