NEW YORK – The Rockefeller Foundation announced on Wednesday that it is extending its Project Access COVID Tests (ACT) to provide free at-home COVID-19 tests to people in vulnerable communities for an additional four months.
The program allows six states — Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, and North Carolina — to pay below-market costs for at-home tests through partnerships with Amazon Web Services and CareEvolution. Through the program, the all-in price to the states for a test is $6.23, which includes home delivery, the foundation noted in a statement. Members of vulnerable communities in those states pay nothing for the tests.
Funding for the project since its launch last year now totals $33.2 million, and the program has delivered more than 4.5 million tests. State health departments determine how many tests to purchase for target communities, those where the risk of contracting COVID-19 has been higher due to geographic challenges and structural and racial inequities, the foundation said.
The states included in the program requested to continue it due to strong demand for testing, the foundation said. The project began in January 2022, when the Rockefeller Foundation provided an initial $7.45 million for the pilot and was expanded in June with the foundation's public charity RF Catalytic Capital acting as the cost aggregator for states to pool their resources, the foundation said. The agreement will now last until June 2023.
"Over the past year, Project ACT has shown that public-private partnerships can deliver positive public health outcomes nimbly and efficiently," Dominick Impemba, treasurer and CFO of the Rockefeller Foundation, said in a statement. "States are paying below-market prices, and tests are being delivered quickly — from the day states sign up to participate, we're able to set up online ordering, start processing orders, and deliver tests to mailboxes in under two weeks."