Pierce County has allocated another $4.2 million in federal CARES Act funding to help the region recover from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. So far, nearly $30 million has been earmarked for identified projects.
This week’s allocations focus on expanding public health efforts to notify those in the community potentially exposed to COVID-19 and broadening behavioral health services for those dealing with pandemic-related trauma.
“We need to be able to quickly let folks know when they’ve been exposed to the virus so they can take steps to protect their families and our community,” said County Executive Bruce Dammeier. “These funds help us do that.”
This additional public health funding provides for the hiring and training of up to 15 more case and contact investigators at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Other trained personnel will be available to handle unexpected surges in cases.
“We know that the impacts of this pandemic reach far beyond the lethality of the virus,” said Councilmember Marty Campbell. “Across our entire county, investing in behavioral health and increasing capacity is critically needed in the short-term and sets the foundation for a long-term plan for behavioral health support. I applaud this step in the right direction.”
Funds were also directed to support social distancing, remote teleworking and other essential justice services needs in the Prosecutor’s Office, Assigned Counsel department and the Superior and District Courts.
Today, the following initiatives were funded:
Community Response and Resilience
- Behavioral Health Services: $1,500,000
Public Health Emergency Response
- Contact Tracing: $749,000
Economic Stabilization and Recovery
- Additional Disposable Face Masks for COVID Response Kits: $573,040
Essential Government Services
- Assigned Counsel – Equipment and Supplies for Working Remotely: $50,000
- District Court Backlog Support: $215,000
- Jury Orientation, Assembly, Screening, and Social Distancing: $925,525
- Superior Court Video Arraignment: $179,301
- Prosecuting Attorney Social Distancing and Remote Work: $55,038
An online dashboard displays all of the CARES Act funds allocations by category and may be viewed here. A total of $158 million will be invested in Pierce County by the end of 2020.