J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Rural hospitals across the country are getting nearly $162 million to fight COVID-19, federal officials said Wednesday.

The funds will help digitally connect patients in need of medical consultation and expand testing for the coronavirus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Colquitt Regional Medical Center

The federal government on Thursday awarded one South Georgia hospital authority funding from $20 million distributed to 27 organizations nationwide to develop new rural residency programs.

In South Georgia, the Hospital Authority of Colquitt County received a $750,000 award from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural Residency Planning and Development Program grants. That money will be used to develop new rural residency programs while achieving accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Regina Garcia Cano / AP

UPDATE: The FCC voted unanimously to approve the initiative.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Federal Communications Commission will vote July 10 on a $100 million initiative to improve health care access for rural Americans.

The money would boost funding for telehealth equipment across the country including here in Georgia, allowing people who can’t get to a clinic or hospital to see their doctors online.