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IDPH, Reynolds return $95 million in federal COVID funding for schools

DES MOINES (KWWL) – The Iowa Department of Public Health recently gave back $95 million in federal funding that could have been used to fund COVID-19 testing in Iowa schools.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the news Thursday night at a FOX News roundtable discussion in Orlando.

“They sent an additional $95 million to the State of Iowa to get our kids ‘back in the classroom’ by doing surveillance testing,” Reynolds said on FOX News. “I said, ‘We’ve been in the classroom since August. Here’s your $95 million back.’”

Aaron Rupar, who is verified as a reporter for Vox on twitter, tweeted a link to a recording of Reynolds in the televised town hall.

Reynolds also tweeted a separate clip from the event, discussing school reopenings.

A spokesperson for the governor sent KWWL a copy of a letter from IDPH to an employee at the CDC, announcing it would be returning the funds. The letter is dated April 23.

In the letter, IDPH Interim Director Kelly Garcia says Iowa has “ample funding” to support COVID-19 testing in schools. Garcia cites funding from FEMA they have used to operate Test Iowa sites.

Garcia does ask if the use of the funding were to expand from just testing, they would like the opportunity to reconsider and receive it.

“To date, no Iowa schools have claimed expenses for testing supplies or services, and ample funding in the following categories remains available for that use should the need arise,” Garcia writes.

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