The fiscal year (FY) 2020 Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (ECT) award provides one-time funding to support health centers funded under the Health Center Program to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Specifically, funds may be used by health centers for necessary expenses to purchase, administer, and expand capacity for testing to monitor and suppress COVID-19.
This funding is appropriated by Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will award approximately $583 million in grants to health centers that are current Health Center Program operational (H80) grant award recipients to expand their COVID-19 testing capacity. HRSA determined each health center’s award amount for this funding using the following formula:
- Base value of $98,329, plus
- $15 per patient reported in the 2019 Uniform Data System (UDS).
Health centers will use ECT funds for in-scope activities that will enhance testing for COVID-19. Funding may support a wide-range of testing and testing-related in-scope activities that may change as COVID-19 needs evolve within your community, including:
- Maintain and increase health center capacity and personnel levels to support COVID-19 testing and related clinical and operational needs, including hiring and contracting with providers and other personnel
- Development of testing plans for both active infection and prior exposure
- Procurement and distribution of tests within the service area
- Purchase of testing equipment and supplies
- Temporary drive- or walk-up testing
- Laboratory services
- Patient and community education related to testing
- Assessment of symptoms, delivering test results, and appropriate follow up assessment, including by telephone, text monitoring systems, or videoconference
- Testing personnel to support a safe workplace and facilitate timely return to work
- Personnel training related to testing
- Outreach to patients who may be at high risk or who have access barriers
- In coordination with federal, state and local public health activities, notifying identified contacts of infected health center patients of their exposure to COVID-19, consistent with applicable law (including laws relating to communicable disease reporting and privacy)
- Reporting information on COVID-19 infection to federal, state, and local public health agencies consistent with applicable law (including laws relating to communicable disease reporting and privacy)
- Personal protective equipment
- Equipment (e.g., telehealth equipment, temporary and non-fixed barriers to separate patients, vehicles to transport patients or health center personnel)
- Health information technology and digital tools (e.g., technology to support patient engagement and remote monitoring, case management, health information exchange with state and local public health partners, enhanced reporting)
- Minor alteration or renovation (A/R) projects directly supporting testing capacity expansion
- Purchase or lease of mobile vans/units directly supporting testing capacity expansion
This list is not exhaustive, as there may be other allowable uses of funds consistent with the terms and conditions of your award. Ensure that your activities to address COVID-19 take into consideration CDC guidance for health care professionals and federal, state, territorial and local public health recommendations.
All activities supported by Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act funding must align with your Health Center Program scope of project and complement previous FY 2020 Coronavirus Supplemental Funding for Health Centers (COVID-19) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. As needed, you should submit scope adjustment or change in scope requests to HRSA to ensure that your scope of project accurately reflects any changes needed to implement activities. This includes: (1) Form 5A: Services provided, (2) Form 5B: Service Sites, and (3) Form 5C: Other Activities/Locations. For additional information, review the technical assistance materials on the Scope of Project webpage and related emergency-specific scope of project FAQs and Program Assistance Letter at Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery Resources for Health Centers. Consult with your project officer as needed to submit any necessary scope adjustment or change in scope requests.
Required Supporting Documents
As stated in your notice of award, your response to the ECT Reporting Requirement should contain the following information and be submitted via the HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) within 30 days of award release date.
ECT Activity Overview. Provide a brief narrative (1-2 pages) describing how funds have been (dating back to January 20, 2020) or will be used to support activities to expand COVID-19 testing capacity and access.
NOTE: HRSA acknowledges that your plans to use ECT funds may change over time to respond to changing community circumstances. Rebudgeting is allowable as long as activities meet the intent of ECT funding, consistent with the terms and conditions of award. If the amount of costs to be rebudgeted constitutes a significant rebudgeting (exceeds 25 percent of the total federal budget), you must submit a prior approval request for review and approval by HRSA.
Budget Form. Provide an SF-424A budget form that includes only the ECT funds awarded. You do NOT need to break the funding out by current funding streams, since it has already been awarded in alignment with these proportions.1
The following are ineligible costs:
- Costs supported with H80, H8C, or H8D funding
- Purchase or upgrade of an electronic health record that is not certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology2
- New construction activities, including additions or expansions
- Major alteration and renovation (A/R) projects valued at $500,000 or greater in total federal and non-federal costs (excluding the cost of allowable moveable equipment)
- Installation of trailers and permanently affixed modular or prefabricated buildings
- Facility or land purchases
- Significant exterior site work such as new parking lots or storm water structures
You may not use grant funds for costs that are reimbursed or compensated by other federal or state programs that provide for such benefits, including but not limited to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, the Provider Relief Fund, the COVID-19 Uninsured Program, or unemployment compensation.
Budget Narrative. Your budget narrative must clearly detail costs for each federal object class category, with calculations for how each cost is derived, and not include any ineligible cost. As provided for in Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M-20-11 (PDF - 1 MB) - Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), your budget should include any requested reimbursement of allowable costs incurred retroactive to January 20, 2020.
Your budget may include indirect costs if your organization has an existing negotiated indirect cost rate agreement or, if you have never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, you may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10 percent of modified direct costs. Costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both. If chosen, this methodology must be used consistently for all your federal awards until such time as you choose to negotiate for a rate, which you may apply to do at any time.
Equipment List (as indicated). If your budget includes equipment, provide an Equipment List Form. Equipment is tangible personal property (including information technology systems) that has a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost of at least $5,000. Moveable equipment can be readily shifted from place to place without requiring a change in the utilities or structural characteristics of the space. Permanently affixed equipment (e.g., heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), generators, lighting) is categorized as minor A/R, and therefore should not be included in your Equipment List Form. Any equipment purchased with award funds must be pertinent to the ECT activities, procured through a competitive process, and maintained, tracked, and disposed of in accordance with 45 C.F.R. Part 75. While M-20-11 remains in effect, you may request that HRSA waive the procurement requirements contained in 2 CFR § 200.319(b) regarding geographical preferences, and 2 CFR § 200.321 regarding contracting small and minority businesses, women's business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms.
For each item on the Equipment List Form, the following fields must be completed:
- Type – Select clinical or non-clinical.
- Item Description – Provide a description of each item.
- Unit Price – Enter the price of each item.
- Quantity – Enter of the number of each item to be purchased.
- Total Price – The EHBs system will calculate the total price by multiplying the unit price by the quantity entered.
The selection of all equipment should be based on a preference for recycled content, non-hazardous substances, non-ozone depleting substances, energy and water efficiency, and consideration of final disposal (disposed in a manner that is safe, protective of the environment, and compliant with all applicable regulations), unless there are conflicting health, safety, and performance considerations. You are strongly encouraged to employ the standards established by either the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) or ENERGY STAR®, where practicable, in the procurement of equipment. Following these standards will mitigate the negative effects on human health and the environment. Additional information for these standards can be found at EPEAT and Energy Star.
Minor A/R (as indicated). You may use up to $150,000 in ECT funds for minor A/R activities at one or more in-scope service delivery sites to support activities that will expand testing capacity. The total site-specific project cost must be less than $500,000 (excluding the cost of moveable equipment). Minor A/R includes work required to modernize, improve, and/or reconfigure the interior arrangements or other physical characteristics of a facility. Permanently affixed equipment (e.g., heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), generators, lighting) and its installation is categorized as minor A/R. Minor A/R projects may not increase the total square footage of existing buildings (e.g., by construction of a building addition) and may not be part of larger construction projects.
ECT funding cannot be used for new construction activities (including work that requires ground disturbance such as new parking surfaces or expansion of a building footprint) or major A/R that has a total project cost of $500,000 or greater.
If your budget includes minor A/R, provide the following minor A/R information for each site-specific minor A/R project:
- Detailed budget narrative, which must explain how these costs address the ECT purpose;
- Environmental Information and Documentation checklist;
- Schematics and/or floor plans showing the location and dimensions of the proposed renovation area in the existing building; and
- Other Requirements for Sites Form addressing site control, federal interest, cultural resources, and historic preservation considerations.
See the ECT technical assistance webpage for:
- Access information for two technical assistance calls to support your ECT Reporting Requirement submission, and
- Blank and sample forms.
Submit questions to the correct HRSA technical assistance support team via the BPHC Contact Form using the following steps.
- Choose the Requester Type – click on Applicant
- Choose the Question Type – click on Coronavirus Inquiries (COVID-19)
- Choose the appropriate BPHC Sub Category
- Questions about ECT funding and the ECT Reporting Requirement – click on ECT Supplemental Funding
- Questions about EHBs – click on ECT Supplemental Funding – EHBs Questions
- Questions about Health Center Program policy and requirements – click on COVID-19 General Inquiry
1 Health Center Program funding streams are Community Health Centers (CHC), Migrant Health Centers (MHC), Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), and Public Housing Primary Care (PHPC).
2 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology have established standards and other criteria for structured data.