Health Department receives CARES funds
The Clark County Health Department has received close to $150,000 in CARES funding as of the first week of August.
Local Public Health Director Becky Kissick said Thursday the county has been reimbursed for expenses in the amount of $149,262 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act since the epidemic hit Kentucky in March.
“We are hoping that we can continue to receive that money,” she said.
The CARES Act was part of a $2 trillion bipartisan relief legislative initiative by Congress that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27. Lawmakers so far have been unable to reach an agreement on a second coronavirus relief bill.
On July 9, Gov. Andy Beshear announced $36.2 million in CARES funding for 61 of the state’s regional and local health departments for reimbursement of costs incurred from combatting COVID-19. That money followed $10 million in CARES money that had been announced in May.
Reimbursable funds will be available through December.
Louisville Metro Health and Wellness is not included in the funding because it gets its CARES funding directly from the federal government rather than through the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Dr. Steven Stack, state commissioner of the Department for Public Health, said eligible expenses include emergency operations, community-based surveillance and reporting, education and screenings, distribution of personal protective equipment and assessment of pubic health and medical surge needs.
It represents projected payroll expenses, contractual service costs, travel and medical supplies that local and regional health departments are expected to incur in response to the pandemic.
Kissick said most of Clark County’s CARES funding has been used for personnel and covering additional administrative costs.
Other costs include an agency cell phone so an employee can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On average, Kissick said, Health Department personnel are checking on about 80 to 90 people at one time, which includes patients with active cases and typically two other people with whom they have been in contact.