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Arizona tribes receive $1.2 million in grants as part of virus relief package

Ashley Pyne, right, helps her son, Elijah, complete a nasal swipe for COVID-19 testing in Picuris Pueblo, N.M., Thursday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

PHOENIX – Arizona tribes received four grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of a $15 million coronavirus relief package on Thursday.

Fort Defiance, Hopi Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation and the White Mountain Apache Tribe received close to $1.2 million in aid.

The Rural Tribal COVID-19 response program helps tribes support their workforce by ensuring access to personal protective equipment, offering overtime and hazard pay, increasing testing capacity and increased access to health services.

“Today’s funding gives tribes critical support to build up their capacity for fighting COVID-19, boost testing capabilities, increase purchases of PPE, and hire and pay the personnel they need,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in press release.

The Health Resources and Services Administration made the funds available to any federally recognized tribe or other tribal organizations to implement COVID-19 related activities in their communities.

The money was awarded to 52 tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organization and other health services in 20 states to assist with response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tribes are able to request up to $300 thousand in funding through the program.

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