Aviva Health officials have announced that the clinic has received $60,112 in funding from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services to respond to and prepare for the local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The allocation was a part of $100 million given nationwide to support health centers across the country to address screening and testing needs, acquire medical supplies and boost telehealth capacity.

Aviva officials said the funding was helpful but is far short of covering the entire cost of the clinic’s response to the virus.

“Aviva Health began planning efforts related to coronavirus several weeks ago before the virus ever encroached the boundaries of Douglas County,” Edward Larsen, chief operating officer of Aviva Health, said in a press release.

Larsen said the federal assistance is appreciated, and they have confidence the state and federal governments will continue to support their efforts to protect the community and the health care workforce.

Larsen said the timing of the release of the emergency allocation could not have been better.

“This supplemental funding comes at a crucial point for Aviva Health and Douglas County,” Larsen said.

Clinic officials, he said, are optimistic early efforts against the COVID-19 virus will prove effective, but they still have to prepare for what could be an overwhelming impact on local health care.

Aviva Health has been working with Douglas Public Health Network and other regional health care institutions to develop a response to the virus, Larsen said.

Aviva Health is helping staff the DPHN hotline, which has taken hundreds of calls over the past several days, screening and triaging individuals who may show symptoms of COVID-19.

Staff from Aviva Health have also helped with the drive-thru testing events at the fairgrounds and a variety of other initiatives aimed at fortifying the medical community in advance of the potential for a wider spread of the virus within the county.

Aviva Health has established a COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center, which includes information gathering and sharing plus crisis planning.

For information about the coronavirus call the DPHN Coronavirus Hotline at 541-464-6550 or visit www.aviva.health/coronavirus.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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