(WASHINGTON, D.C.) —Following a request from Representatives Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Joe Neguse (CO-02), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added the nation’s first responders to the list of those eligible for high priority COVID-19 testing. Earlier this month, Rep. Raskin joined a bipartisan letter, along with 33 other members of Congress, to Vice President Mike Pence and CDC Director Robert Redfield requesting first responder testing priority.  First responders who show symptoms of COVID-19 are now eligible for testing, joining hospitalized patients, healthcare workers, and workers and residents in congregated facilities or long-term care facilities.

“Firefighters, police officers and first responders across our nation are on the frontlines of assisting citizens during this pandemic and it is absolutely essential that they have access to coronavirus testing so they can continue to execute their duties in the field without fear of infecting the communities they serve. Since the beginning of this pandemic we have fought to ensure adequate protections for our first responders and firefighters and we’re grateful for the CDC’s change to accommodate our request and ensure first responders are given high priority for testing,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Every day in every community across our country, emergency personnel are sacrificing their own health and safety to protect our communities, in return we must ensure we are providing them the utmost protection for their individual health and well-being throughout this public health emergency and ensuring our communities continue to be protected during this vulnerable time.”

Read the letter here.

New guidance can be viewed here.