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FEMA Funding for COVID-19 Testing

Release Date:
August 28, 2021

FEMA remains committed to protecting and supporting our families, schools, and businesses, and helping local, state, tribal, and territorial governments take action to save lives and protect public health and safety to end the pandemic.

Funding under FEMA’s Public Assistance program includes COVID-19 testing. This funding is eligible under current FEMA policies and is available to local, state, tribal, and territorial governments and eligible nonprofits carrying out COVID-19 testing activities.

Testing Eligibility

What will FEMA fund?

FEMA will fund testing to detect COVID-19 infections both in a medical setting and testing needed to safely open and operate public facilities, including schools. Funding may be used to support both diagnostic and screening protocols. Funding guidelines for medical settings are outlined in FEMA Policy 104-010-04, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Medical Care Costs Eligible for Public Assistance. Guidelines for other facility settings are outlined in FEMA Policy 104-21-0003, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Safe Opening and Operation Work Eligible for Public Assistance (Interim). In general, FEMA will fund diagnostic and screening testing to determine if an active coronavirus infection is present and if an individual should take steps to quarantine or isolate from others.

This funding can include costs for:

  • Laboratory testing materials and test kits including antigen self-tests;
  • Contracting for testing support by a third party;
  • Staffing to administer tests;
  • Training for individuals to administer tests;
  • Signage and other communication materials;
  • Personal protective equipment and other administrative supplies to conduct testing; and,
  • Technology to register and track testing results.

FEMA will fund 100% of COVID-19 testing costs and will not require non-federal matching funds through December 31, 2021.

What limits are placed on the funding?

As with other activities eligible for reimbursement under FEMA’s Public Assistance program, testing efforts must be reasonable and necessary to address threats arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and must otherwise comply with the policies linked above and the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

Funding must be requested by a government or private nonprofit applicant with the responsibility to protect the life and safety of those the testing will serve. Generally, governments and private nonprofit organizations demonstrate this by possessing the responsibility to protect people using their facilities, health-related authority, or general jurisdictional powers in accordance with the state’s, tribe’s, or territory’s constitution or laws. Private, for-profit organizations are not eligible for Public Assistance funding. Guidelines for applicant eligibility and legal responsibility for COVID-19 are in FEMA’s Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) (2018) at pages 9-17 and 20-21.

How quickly can I receive funding?

Organizations should immediately take action to save lives and protect public health and safety to end the pandemic. FEMA can provide expedited funding for testing to eligible applicants through the COVID-19 Public Assistance Simplified Application. Organizations can begin their application by contacting their local, state, tribal, and territorial emergency management office or visiting grantee.fema.gov.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact FEMA Office of External Affairs:

Last updated August 28, 2021