Rapid identification of respiratory pathogens is vital for effective response; however, many PHLs are facing challenges in obtaining enough respiratory specimens for surveillance testing. Consequently, there is a shortage of specimens available to forward to the National Influenza Reference Centers (NIRCs) and CDC's National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance (NS3) system for viral isolation and further characterization. Improving participation in respiratory specimen submission networks involves addressing various challenges. Examples of these challenges for both the PHLs and their clinical laboratory partners include lack of funding, staffing shortages and turnover, diminished relationships between public health laboratories and their submitter networks, reduced access to courier networks and a lack of training opportunities on specimen collection as well as packaging and shipping. 

To help address some of these challenges, APHL, in cooperation with CDC, is offering this one-time funding opportunity to assist PHLs with rebuilding and/or enhancing their respiratory virus surveillance networks. The objective is to increase the number of respiratory specimens submitted to state and local public health laboratories for surveillance testing. Funding use should be focused on sustainable efforts where the impact will continue past the contract period's conclusion.  


All state or local public health laboratories that receive funding through the CDC's Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) or can demonstrate how they contribute to state surveillance goals and meet the following criteria, are eligible to apply for this one-time funding:  

(1) Demonstrated involvement in respiratory virus surveillance networks and 

(2) capable of receiving respiratory specimens and performing diagnostic and/or surveillance testing and 

(3) are forwarding subset(s) of those samples to the NIRCs and CDC's NS3 system. 

Anticipated RFP Schedule 

March 25, 2024 RFP Issued 

April 10, 2024 Informational Teleconference (Registration)

April 22, 2024 Required Letter of Intent Due to APHL (see below) 

May 10, 2024 RFP Responses Due 

May 31, 2024 Proposal Review Completed 

June 7, 2024 Follow-Up Interviews and Updated Proposals Due (if needed) 

June 14, 2024 Final Review Completed and Awardees Notified 

August 1, 2024 Estimated Contract Start Date 

APHL will communicate any modification to this anticipated schedule on APHL's procurement website ( and via an email blast to public health laboratories. 

Response Submittal 

Confirmation of Intent to Respond 

APHL requires that prospective applicants submit a brief email statement indicating an intent to submit a proposal to with a copy to APHL must receive this email by no later than 11:59pm ET on April 22, 2024. To allow for appropriate review process planning, a letter of intent is required for consideration

Final Response  

APHL must receive complete responses by 11:59 pm ET on May 10, 2024. Please see Proposal-Required Submissions section for items that must be included in the completed proposal. Applicants may send proposals via email to with a copy to

APHL will send an email acknowledging the receipt of your application; if you do not receive an acknowledgement within two business days, please email the RFP point of contact above to confirm receipt. 

RFP Materials

APHL will post all RFP-related documents, current schedule information and answers to all submitted questions and clarifications on APHL's procurement site, The official RFP document will provide detailed information in regards to this request, please read it in its entirety.