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CDC awards Hawaii with $24.5 million to address COVID-19 health disparities

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded the Hawaii Department of Health with more than $24.5 million to address COVID-19-related health disparities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the award today, which is part of a $2.25 billion nationwide initiative seeking to advance health equity.

Federal officials said it is the CDC’s largest investment toward improving health equity in the United States.

“These grants demonstrate our steadfast commitment to keeping equity at the center of everything we do,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky in a news release. “They are an important step in our unwavering efforts to strengthen our communities’ readiness for public health emergencies — and to helping everyone in America have equal opportunities for health.”

Officials said the grants are meant to reduce COVID-19-related health disparities, and improve and increase testing and contact tracing among populations that are at higher risk and underserved, including racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural communities.

They are also intended to improve state and local health department capacity and services to prevent and control COVID-19 infection, officials said.

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