Gov. Abbott announces $38 million in federal COVID-19 emergency funds for local governments
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today announced that his Public Safety Office (PSO) will provide $38 million in federal funds to local units of government in Texas. These funds come from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program authorized by the federal Emergency Appropriations for Coronavirus Health Response and Agency Operations Act.
Jurisdictions may use this funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. Allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment, supplies, training, travel expenses, and addressing the medical needs of inmates in local and tribal jails and detention centers.
“These funds will help our local governments respond to COVID-19 and provide the resources that our communities need,” said Governor Abbott. “I am grateful to our federal partners for making this crucial financial support available to the state of Texas.”
Examples of allowable costs include:
- Personnel Overtime (Peace Officer, Jailer, Correctional Officer, Medical, and other Essential Staff)
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Supplies (i.e. gloves, masks, sanitizer, disinfectant)
- Temporary Staff
- Medical care for inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19
- Any other costs associated with the implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Guidance documents, specifically:
- Interim Guidance on Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities
- What Law Enforcement Personnel Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Interested jurisdictions may access the Public Safety Office’s eGrants grant management website at https://eGrants.gov.texas.gov to register and apply for funding.
President unveils plan to open up America again
President Donald Trump on Thursday presented a three-phase plan to reopen America again, but it the decisions on how states proceed with those guidelines will remain with the state governors.
During a lengthy press conference the president called the recommendations, “the next front in our war, which is called opening up America again.” Surrounded by his pandemic task force, Trump explained the strategies will be based on hard, verifiable data and benchmarks must be met at each phase. He continued it is implementable on a statewide or county-by-county basis at the discretion of each state’s governor.
As of Thursday more than 32,000 people had died from Coronavirus in the United States. In addition, more than 22 million people have filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance during the last four weeks as the job market in every sector of the economy has been devastated by the pandemic and the resulting restrictions.
Before implementing any of these guidelines a “gating” criteria must be met by the state or the region. It includes a downward trajectory of documented case within a 14-day period or a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests with a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests) as well as hospital preparedness, which includes treating all patients without crisis care and a robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers including emerging antibody testing.
The guidelines, it was reported, represent the “consensus of medical professionals,” including Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus response coordinator; Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert and Dr. Stephen Hahn, head of the Food and Drug Administration.
Click on the link below to read the full plan to reopen America.
Read the full story on the guidelines and response from Texas Governor Greg Abbott from his Friday news conference in the weekend Bowie News.
Sunset area virus patient dies late Friday afternoon
Montague County experienced its first death from the Coronavirus Friday as Dr. Delbert McCaig, county health authority, reported a Sunset area patient died Friday while being treated in Wise County.
McCaig said it was very sad news to report, especially in light of other patients who have now been cleared. The 68-year-old patient was taken by ambulance to Wise Regional on April 15 and died April 17. He added they didn’t even know about it until now, explaining the only address on the state report was a post office box in Sunset.
As of Friday noon the county had seen a total of six positive cases of the virus. All three patients from Nocona are now cleared and no longer contagious along with one in Silver Lakes. One case at Ringgold earlier this week turned out to be a Wichita County resident who has a farm in Ringgold and was moved to that city’s stats.
The case of a Saint Jo patient who tested positive outside the county remains open, said McCaig, as the Department of Health Services has not been able to confirm the Saint Jo case based on the address and phone number presented by the person when they went to Denton Mid-Cities for testing. It will remain open until he is found.
There are two other pending cases where patients have been taken to hospitals in Wichita Falls and Decatur for treatment and awaiting test results.
One new positive case reported today at Ringgold
COVID-19 UPDATE – Montague County added one more positive COVID-19 case today as County Health Authority Dr. Delbert McCaig said the case was reported to him this afternoon by state officials and involves a person at Ringgold. This makes a total of six cases, plus one more positive for a patient reportedly at Saint Jo, but state officials have told McCaig they have not been able to confirm the person is at the address listed and the phone number does not respond.
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