Pa. awarded nearly $4.2 million for Disease Intervention Specialist Workforce

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Consistent with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Pennsylvania, was awarded roughly $4.2 million to bolster support and enhance the disease intervention specialists (DIS) workforce.

The award represents the initial funding phase from the $1.13 billion investment being made nationally over the next five years. Of that, Pennsylvania, excluding Philadelphia, will receive $20,925,420.

“Disease intervention specialists have helped halt infectious disease outbreaks in America for decades, and this funding builds upon that expertise for a stronger, healthier America,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. said.

According to a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the awards specifically, “will allow health departments to increase their capacity to conduct disease investigation (case investigation and contact tracing), linkage to prevention and treatment, case management and oversight, and outbreak response for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.”

“This critical investment to recruit and train the experts needed to end this pandemic and prevent the next one is part of our larger effort to rebuild public health infrastructure in the United States to ensure it can protect the health of all Americans for generations to come,” added Walensky.

The announcement comes less than a week before Pennsylvania’s mask mandate is lifted.

The CDC reporting 58.9% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated, inching ever closer to Governor Tom Wolf’s goal of 60% fully vaccinated before June 28.

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