The Pierce County Council has voted to allocate $158 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support the region as it recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that time is of the essence in standing up our greater community and getting Pierce County back open,” stated Council Chair Doug Richardson. “As a body, the Council has opted to move swiftly with broad direction and provide for flexibility as circumstances change.” Prior to the CARES Act, the Council had previously funded food banks and small businesses loans.

The Council has directed funding to the following priorities:

  • Public Health Emergency Response — $67 million
  • Economic Stabilization and Recovery Programs — $30 million
  • Community Response and Resilience — $23 million
  • Essential Government Services — $15 million
  • Contingency Reserve — $23 million

The Public Health Emergency Response category is the largest at $67 million and includes funds for diagnostic and serological testing, county-wide virus surveillance, contact tracing, and housing for isolation and quarantine. This category also funds proactive testing and disease prevention, access to and training on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), local health care system capacity, data collection analysis and reporting, and public education programs.

The CARES Act funds must be fully spent by Dec. 30, 2020 or will be forfeited back to the federal government.

Thumbnail photo by Pictures of Money via Flickr