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ASU receives grant to bring COVID-19 testing to underserved communities

(Facebook Photo/ASU Biodesign Institute)

PHOENIX – Arizona State University researchers received a grant to help bring coronavirus testing to underserved communities, the university announced Thursday.

The $4.7 million grant from the National Institute of Health is designed to bring rapid coronavirus testing to American Indian, African American and Latinx communities.

“It is critical that all Americans have access to rapid, accurate diagnostics for COVID-19, especially underserved and vulnerable populations who are bearing the brunt of this disease,” NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins said in a press release.

ASU is one of 32 institutions to receive the award through NIH’s Rapid Acceleration Diagnostics initiative.

ASU’s Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center will work with the university’s Biodesign Institute to administer more 29,000 saliva tests to minority communities in the state and evaluate how well the intervention addresses coronavirus testing barriers.

The project aims to improve the health of underserved community by increasing access to diagnostic testing, education and referral services.

“SIRCs community-based effort has the promise of increasing access to testing and the preparation work for full participation in a future anticipated vaccine program,” ASU President Michael Crow said in the release.

The project is scheduled to run through June of 2022.

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