U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell and U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded nearly $1.7 million through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act for healthcare centers across Kentucky, including seven facilities in southern and Eastern Kentucky.

In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, health centers may use the funding to increase screening, testing, medical supplies and telehealth options.

"Our brave healthcare workers are on the frontlines of this national emergency and we are working diligently to get the funding and supplies they need to safely and effectively test and treat individuals in our region, while protecting their own health," Rogers said in a statement. "I want to be clear, that additional resources and funding are on the way for Southern and Eastern Kentucky.This is a good first step to ramp up the stellar on-going efforts to contain and eliminate the spread of the virus in our region."

McConnell also commented on the funding, saying the funded agencies are "essential."

“Community health centers are an essential resource for quality, primary care in many rural areas of Kentucky. Bolstered with additional federal support for telehealth, testing and protective equipment, these healthcare professionals will continue to serve Kentuckians in need as we respond to the national health crisis," McConnell said in a statement "I’ll continue working with President Trump and my colleagues to combat the health and economic effects of COVID-19 in Kentucky and around the country.”

While additional funding is in route to meet healthcare needs related to COVID-19 in every community, the following facilities were awarded these specific emergency grants in Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District, according to Rogers' statement:

• Big Sandy Health Care in Prestonsburg

• Grace Community Health Center in Gray

• Health Help in McKee

• Juniper Health in Beattyville

• Kentucky Mountain Health Alliance in Hazard

• Mountain Comprehensive Care Center in Prestonsburg

• Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation in Whitesburg

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