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Health Department receives CARES funds

The Jessamine County Health Department has received more than $190,000 in CARES funding as of July 31.

Local Public Health Director Randy Gooch said in an email Monday the county agency has been reimbursed for expenses in the amount of $191,120.04 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act since the epidemic came to Kentucky in March.

The CARES Act was part of a $2 trillion bipartisan relief legislative initiative by Congress that was signed into law by President 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 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 money from the federal government through the city rather than 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.

Gooch said most of Jessamine County’s CARES funding has been used to supplement staffing “repurposed to respond to COVID-19” for disease investigation and contact tracing, communications, logistics, compliance, testing, support services and other purposes.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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