No CARES COVID-19 cash for Vigo Well being Dept? | Native Information

The Vigo County Ministry of Health does not have the resources to continue its COVID-19 response after December 31, according to a notice sent to county officials.

Funding from the CARES act was used for contact tracing and contract nurses to administer the COVID vaccine. It has also been used to house COVID-positive homeless people in motels and to provide food to people in quarantine.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Joni way



In a letter received by the Tribune-Star, Vigo County’s Department of Health Administrator Joni Wise wrote to the County Council and Board of Commissioners saying the funding process has changed for 2022 but the Department of Health has not been informed. Way wrote:

• The VCHD was not directed to ask the District Council for additional funding for COVID-19 related expenses in 2020.

• The Department of Health was not directed to ask for funds from the Council when preparing its 2021 budget for expenditure related to COVID-19.

• Health Department has not been directed to ask the Council for additional funding when preparing its 2022 budget for expenditure related to COVID-19.

• All applications related to COVID in 2020 and 2021 were sent to the auditor’s office, marked as such and paid from the CARES law fund for the county, not the general health fund.

• It wasn’t until December 16 that the public health department learned that the manner in which claims were filed in 2020 and 2021 for Covid-19-related expenses would not continue in 2022.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Mike Morris



Mike Morris, President of the Commissioners, said Tuesday that “there is currently no funding. It will stop on December 31st … It has not been funded.”

When asked why, he replied, “I don’t know.”

When asked if something can be done, he said, “Well, they are doing something. They (the health department) go to the council and try to get money for it,” he said.

Before January 1, according to other district officials, the district commissioners had control over how funds from the CARES law were spent.

That won’t be the case after December 31, Morris said. “Not after the first of the year. It was all going to the general fund … from the council,” he said.

Morris noted that several surrounding counties are not conducting contact tracing.

“You (Ministry of Health) did not apply for funding and found out about 10 days ago. This is not my fault. So I’m supposed to correct your mistake – I don’t understand, ”he said.

Commissioner Brendan Kearns, who is in Hawaii, said the CARES law funds are under the control of the commissioners. Much of this was used to cover overtime for health department workers and to hire contact tracers.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Brendan Kearns

However, the question arose as to who is now in control of the CARES Act dollars, and that has not yet been resolved, he said. By mid-December, he believed the county commissioners had full control over those dollars, but other commissioners suggested otherwise.

“I asked my commissioners for a 45 day extension (from CARES Act-Dollar) … after Jan 1st and then we will use that period to figure out where we need to be to make sure the contact tracing is done properly” said Kearns.

Kearns said he spoke with Council President Aaron Loudermilk about a possible 45-day extension of funding for the CARES bill for the public health department.

Given the surge in COVID cases and the surge in local hospitals, Kearns considers it a public health emergency to continue with the Department of Health’s COVID response funding.

“The time is not to stop funding,” said Kearns. “It is the right time to find out what we need to do over the next few months and then create a backup plan in case we see (COVID) spikes again and contact tracing is required.”

Kearns believes there is still a “substantial balance” of funding from the CARES Act that could cover contact tracing for 45 days.

Kearns also said, “There are people in the annex who want the contact tracing to end. I’m not one of them. I will support the end as soon as Dr. (Darren) Brucken says so.” Bridges is the district health officer.

Whose problem is it?

Loudermilk said the district council could not act until there was a request from a department or from elected officials, and in this case none was made.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Aaron Loudermilk

The council supported the requested funds for contact tracing, he said. He only knew in mid-December that the funds for the health department would not be there.

“I think it is a function of the Commissioner. They have made these requests in the past to fund this. I think it is up to them to keep doing this,” said Loudermilk. “I don’t know how that has changed. I wasn’t aware that there would be a change. “

The money from the CARES bill “was usually controlled by commissioners,” he said. “In my opinion it still is.” Applications then go to the council, which applies funds.

He was talking to the police station and bridges, he said. He said he hoped something could be worked out this week so that funding “doesn’t die on January 1st”.

Loudermilk advocates continued funding for perhaps 30 to 60 days “until a solution can be developed for how to proceed,” he said.

There is nothing the Council can do this week. “I believe there is an opportunity for commissioners to debit funds and use them maybe next month for contact tracing,” he said.

Commissioner Chris Switzer said there was a COVID-related item in the general fund.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Chris Switzerland

Anything over $ 500 should be submitted to commissioners for approval, he said. “I don’t know if a lot of it happened because I’m only finding out about it today,” he said.

But on December 31st: “That line dies even if there’s still money in it. So if someone wants to say it’s still CARES money, that’s just not true.”

As of January 1, there will be no more funds for this money, but the health department will use it to pay for contact tracers, contract vaccines and other items related to COVID.

“I’m not going to say it was bad planning by Joni and the health department, but that should have been found out sooner,” he said. “They should have included it in their budget during budgetary time or they should have … asked for additional funding” from the Council.

Switzer, a freshman commissioner, said, “Maybe it’s my fault for not being educated enough to know I need to keep these funds going through to 2022, not for the Vigo County Health Department.”

The commissioners have no say in approving rewards that would be paid out to county employees in CARES dollars, he said.

He added, “I think there is a lot of misinformation out there.”

About the contact tracing, he said, “I certainly do not want to stop contact tracing. I think it can be turned back quite a bit. We spend a lot of money on contact tracing. I’d rather see it spent on vaccines. “Education or something so that people get vaccinated more.”

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at sue.loughlin@tribstar.com Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.

UK shortens Covid-19 isolation interval to 7 days in England

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid speaks during a press conference on Downing Street on October 20, 2021 in London, England.

Toby Melville | WPA pool | Getty Images News

LONDON – The UK government has cut the mandatory Covid-19 self-isolation period in England from 10 days to seven days for those who receive negative lateral flow tests for two consecutive days.

Health Minister Sajid Javid announced on Wednesday that those who receive a negative lateral flow result on days six and seven of their quarantine period will be allowed to exit isolation to minimize disruption and remain “after expert clinical advice”.

the The UK is currently struggling with an increase in the highly portable Omicron variant, with fears that health services could be overwhelmed and economic activity depressed.

So far, the UK government has refused to emulate a number of countries in mainland Europe who strict containment measures imposed about the holiday season.

The mandatory isolation period was reduced from 14 days to 10 days at the end of 2020 as the alpha variant spread rapidly in different regions of the UK and the quarantine requirement for vaccinated close contacts of positive cases during the delta wave was lifted earlier this year.

Irene Petersen, a professor of epidemiology and health informatics at University College London, told CNBC on Wednesday that reducing isolation time is a good move, given that most people are not contagious beyond the seventh day and the requirement for consecutive negative tests most are Will reveal anomalies.

“I’ve looked at the sensitivity a little, and if you say a single test has a sensitivity of around 90%, if you combine the sensitivity of the two tests, you went up at 99%, and that means we will few have that are false negatives, “she said.

“Even if you consider that we are only, say, 10% contagious at this point, it would be less than 1 in 1,000 people who would be false negative afterwards. So I now think it is a sensible move to cut it down to seven days. “

Antiviral Advancement

The UK government also announced on Wednesday that it had signed two contracts for a total of 4.25 million courses of Covid-19 antiviral pills.

Pfizer announced on Wednesday that it will provide the country with an additional 2.5 million doses of its COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid, with a total of 2.75 million expected to be delivered over the course of 2022.

The UK government has also ordered 1.75 million additional courses of the pill Lagevrio (molnupiravir) from Merck Sharp and Dohme.

“This is a mammoth deal for the UK government and for patients across the country who will benefit from these antivirals in the coming months,” Javid said in a statement on Wednesday.

Molnupiravir is currently being launched in a national study called PANORAMIC, which is being carried out by Oxford University in close collaboration with centers for general practitioners.

“If you are 50 years of age or older, or have an underlying health condition and tested positive for Covid-19, sign up for the study as soon as possible and benefit from this remarkable treatment,” added Javid.

Springfield-Greene County Well being Dept. receiving more cash for COVID-19 vaccine incentives

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (KY3) – Springfield City Council approved a contract with the Missouri Department of Health to do more for obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine.

The city is being given $ 300,000 to incentivize more vaccinations. The approved new money will allow the department to purchase 6,700 more gift cards. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department provides incentives for anyone who receives their first or second dose of the vaccine. Employees reported that 35 percent of those who received the vaccination over the weekend at a specialty clinic in Springfield did so because of the incentives.

“It made a huge difference to us,” said Cara Erwin, communications and outreach manager for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. “We had a special event at the weekend. We had two locations at Williams Elementary School and our clinic on Battlefield East. And we vaccinated over 1,000, almost 1,000 people, and many, many of those people came knowing they were going to get the gift card. So that’s one of many reasons that motivates you to come here. “

The health department will ask you to register for the required dose of the vaccine. Click here to login.

To report a correction or typing error, please send an email digitalnews@ky3.com

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.

Wholesome buildings may also help cease Covid-19, increase employee productiveness

Any C-suite manager looking to get employees back to the office has likely spent more time thinking about indoor air quality and ventilation in the past year and a half than at any other point in their life prior to the pandemic.

Because healthy buildings are the latest incentive to get employees back into the office. Naturally, with people returning to their personal work, they are concerned about how safe they will be. Companies continue to assure their employees that desks, computer keyboards, elevator buttons, and any other public surface are adequately sanitized.

But now they’re also paying more attention to how healthy the air in these buildings is – and what impact this can have on not only preventing the spread of Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases, but also how air quality can affect cognitive function.

“I don’t think business people see the power of buildings that not only protect people from disease but also lead to better performance,” said Joseph G. Allen, associate professor and director of the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard of the Harvard Healthy Buildings Program at Executive Council of the CNBC Workforce Summit on Wednesday. “Better ventilation leads to a significantly better cognitive performance of the employees. This is good for the health and productivity of the workers.”

“Droplet dogma is over”

Allen said the increased interest in indoor air quality resulted from a better understanding of the spread of Covid-19. Cleaning surfaces and following the two meter distance rule made sense if it was believed that the virus was spread by droplets that were expelled when coughing or sneezing and that these droplets could not travel further than two meters.

The reality is that Covid-19 is spread through breath aerosols that travel well over two meters, Allen said. “When we talk, cough, sneeze, or just breathe, we are constantly releasing different-sized aerosols,” he added. “When we are infected, these particles carry the virus and can travel through any room and stay in the air for hours. The droplet dogma is over. “

A ventilated room or building means that these breath aerosols can accumulate and infect someone well beyond this 1.80 m distance. “All of the major outbreaks we’ve seen share the same characteristics,” said Allen. “Time indoors in an under-ventilated room. Whether it’s a spin course, choir rehearsals or a restaurant. It’s the same basic factors that drive the transmission.”

Companies can counteract this, said Allen. “Just as we have made great strides in public health in the areas of sanitation, water quality and food safety, indoor air quality will be a part of this conversation,” he said.

Employees wear protective masks in a JLL office in Menlo Park, California, United States on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Spice up buildings

The first step is for facility managers to determine what systems are in place and whether they are working as intended. “It seems obvious, but a lot of the time we put equipment in and then leave it for 10 or 15 years and never tune it like we do with our cars,” explained Allen.

Maximizing the amount of outside air that enters the building is another step that needs to be taken. And finally, Allen said that air filters should be upgraded to the so-called MERV 13. (MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Report Value.) He explained that a typical building has a MERV 8 filter that captures about 20% of the airborne particulates. A MERV 13 filter captures approximately 90% or more of these particles.

These higher quality filters not only improve air quality to reduce the spread of viruses, but can also help workers improve their performance.

Allen’s team at Harvard recently published a study that looked at workers from around the world for a year. Everyone had air quality sensors on their desks. A specially developed smartphone app enabled these workers to carry out short cognitive function tests. Allen found that people with better ventilation and lower particle concentrations did significantly better on these tests than people who work in areas with poorer air quality.

“The beauty of all of this is that healthy building strategies help protect against infectious diseases, but are also good for the health, productivity and performance of workers,” said Allen.

In his 2020 book, Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity, co-authored with Harvard Business School professor John D. Macomber, Allen says they show how better air quality and Ventilation to Win for Business. His Harvard research and financial simulations found that the benefits of increased ventilation alone are estimated to be between $ 6,500 and $ 7,500 per person per year. In an April 2020 article in the Harvard Business Review co-authored with Macomber, Allen cited researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who estimate that improving indoor air quality in offices could add up to $ 20 billion to the US economy annually.

“Since the late 1970s, in response to the global energy crisis, we began to streamline our buildings while cutting off air flow to save energy,” said Allen. We have ushered in the era of sick building.

“It is no surprise that we have high levels of indoor air pollution and sick buildings where people cannot concentrate in conference rooms and feel constantly sleepy at work,” he said.

And contrary to what many think, not only new, modern buildings can be health-oriented. “Any building can be a healthy building, and it’s not heavy and not that expensive,” he added. “In fact, I would say that healthy buildings are not expensive. Sick buildings are expensive. “

To join the CNBC Workforce Executive Council, apply at cnbccouncils.com/wec.

Merck to hunt emergency authorization for oral Covid-19 therapy

A nurse tends to a Covid-19 patient at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City on August 24, 2021.

Nick Oxford | Reuters

Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics plan to apply for emergency approval for their oral antiviral treatment for Covid after the drug shows “compelling results” in clinical trials.

The drug molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with mild or moderate cases of Covid by around 50%, the companies said on Friday. Molnupiravir is given orally and works by stopping the coronavirus from replicating in the body.

An interim analysis of a Phase 3 study found that 7.3% of molnupiravir-treated patients were hospitalized within 29 days. Of the patients who received a placebo, 14.1% were hospitalized or died on day 29. No deaths were reported in patients receiving molnupiravir within the 29-day period, while eight deaths were reported in placebo-treated patients.

All 775 study participants had laboratory-confirmed symptomatic Covid-19 and were randomly assigned molnupiravir or a placebo within five days of symptoms.

Each participant was unvaccinated and had at least one underlying factor that placed them at a higher risk of developing a more severe case of the virus. The most common risk factors included obesity, over 60 years of age, and diabetes or heart disease.

The phase 3 part of the study was conducted in more than 170 locations in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Taiwan, and Guatemala.

The study showed that molnupiravir’s effectiveness was not influenced by the time when symptoms appeared or the patients’ underlying risk factors. It was also shown to be consistently effective in treating all variants of Covid, including the widely used and highly transferable delta expansion.

Side effects were similar in the molnupiravir and placebo groups, with approximately 10% reporting adverse events. Only 1.3% of the molnupiravir group discontinued therapy because of an adverse event – less than the 3.4% of the placebo group who did.

Recruitment for the study will be terminated prematurely based on the positive results on the recommendation of an independent data monitoring committee and in consultation with the US Food and Drug Administration.

Merck is also testing molnupiravir in a separate global phase 3 study to evaluate its effectiveness in preventing the spread of Covid in households.

“Profound Effect”

Robert M. Davis, CEO and President of Merck, said in a press release on Friday that the company would do everything possible to get molnupiravir to patients as soon as possible.

“With these compelling results, we are optimistic that molnupiravir can become a key drug in the global effort to fight the pandemic,” he said.

Wendy Holman, CEO of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, added, “As the virus continues to be widespread and the therapeutic options currently available are infused or require access to a health facility, antiviral treatments can be taken at home to help people with Covid-19 from the To keep disease away hospital urgently needed. “

“We are very encouraged by the results of the interim analysis and hope that molnupiravir, if approved for use, can have a profound impact on the control of the pandemic,” she said.

Authorization to use in an emergency

Merck said Friday it plans to apply for emergency approval for the drug in the US as soon as possible. The company also plans to file regulatory filings with other international drug regulatory agencies.

If approved by regulators, molnupiravir could be the first oral antiviral drug for Covid. Currently used antiviral treatments, such as Remdesivir, are administered intravenously.

Merck has already started production of molnupiravir. The pharmaceutical giant expects to produce 10 million treatment cycles by the end of 2021 and more doses in 2022.

The company agreed earlier this year to ship approximately 1.7 million molnupiravir courses if it receives FDA emergency or full approval.

Merck has also entered into supply and purchase agreements with other governments for the drug – pending regulatory approval – and is in talks with other governments regarding the supply of molnupiravir.

The company plans to implement a tiered pricing approach based on World Bank income criteria to ensure molnupiravir is available worldwide. Merck previously announced that it had entered into non-exclusive, voluntary licensing agreements for molnupiravir with generic drug companies to facilitate access to treatment for low- and middle-income countries. Approvals or emergency approvals from the local supervisory authorities are also pending for these agreements.

Profit sharing

Ridgeback received an upfront payment from Merck as part of the company’s development of molnupiravir. The company is also eligible for contingent payments based on development and regulatory approval milestones.

Profits from the collaboration will be shared equally between Merck and Ridgeback.

Children elevate cash for hospital staff who look after COVID-19 sufferers

A family of four from the city of Atlantis, South Florida – who had and won a battle against COVID-19 – are paying it on. The Baudo family were moved by how hard healthcare workers work to comfort COVID-19 patients. They decided to donate money from their homemade lemonade stand to Bethesda Hospital East in Boynton Beach. Sophie Baudo (10) and Anniina Makila (9) are professionals in running lemonade stands with the idea of ​​selling lemonade, “said Baudo. Baudo and Makila are best friends.” When we were little, we decided to be partners in sales to be, “Makila said safely under there, very safe, unbreakable and fireproof,” said Jack Baudo. Idalia Baudo said she and her entire family had COVID-19. “It just hit us, there were no symptoms or anything,” said Idalia Baudo. “It was just – boom – and then we were out.” She is proud that her children give something back. “I couldn’t be more moved that you have the compassion,” said Idalia Baudo. “This is something I always pray for that they have some sensitivity to be in tune with.” Hospital officials appreciate the support they are inspired to be a future fundraiser, “said Barbara James of the Bethesda Hospital Foundation.

A family of four from the city of Atlantis, South Florida – who had and won a fight against COVID-19 – continues to pay.

The Baudo family were so moved by how hard the health care workers work to comfort COVID-19 patients that they decided to donate the money raised from their homemade lemonade stand to Bethesda Hospital East in Boynton Beach.

Sophie Baudo, 10, and Anniina Makila, 9, are professionals in running lemonade stands.

“It started about a year ago when I first came up with the idea of ​​selling lemonade,” said Baudo.

Baudo and Makila are best friends.

“When we were little, we made the decision to become a partner in sales,” said Makila.

Sophie’s brother Jack Baudo, 8, collects the money.

“There’s a safe underneath, very safe, unbreakable and fire-proof,” says Jack Baudo.

Idalia Baudo said she and her entire family had COVID-19.

“It just hit us, there were no symptoms or anything,” said Idalia Baudo. “It was just – boom – and then we were out.”

She takes pride in the fact that her children give something back.

“I couldn’t be more moved that you have the compassion,” said Idalia Baudo. “This is something I always pray for that they have some sensitivity to be in tune with other people.”

The hospital management appreciates the support.

“I thought I’d come out and give them a little love and hopefully one of them will be inspired to do a future fundraiser,” said Barbara James of the Bethesda Hospital Foundation.

See how a lot Covid-19 reduction cash well being care suppliers in your state bought

C.ongress set up a massive $ 178 billion fund in 2020 to help mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on healthcare providers, known as the Provider Relief Fund.

The Trump and Biden administrations have not always been great to send the money – or send it on time. But STAT’s new analysis of a health and welfare database of money shows where it is going and who has received the most so far.

By far the largest payments were made to the largest hospital systems in the country. Five of the top 10 recipients of cash were hospitals or health systems in the New York City area; together they received about $ 3.1 billion. The New York and Presbyterian Hospital (usually referred to as NewYork-Presbyterian) alone raised $ 631 million, surpassed just one of the $ 1.2 billion that went to New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Group that operates New York City’s sprawling public system hospitals and clinics.

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STAT also publishes the entire database here in a searchable and sortable format.

Many smaller providers also benefited from the program. Of the 412,591 payments published to date, the median was just $ 12,530. Ninety percent of all payments were below $ 192,569.

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Mississippi has the highest average payment amount of any state at $ 17,563. The Vermont average payment was the lowest at $ 3,802. In Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory with a population greater than 21 states, the average payment was only $ 1,281. Puerto Rico also received less money overall than any other state: $ 180,788,664 so far.

Below are all payments to providers in each state. First select a state and then click the column headings in the table to sort by that column, or use the search box to enter names of providers and / or cities to narrow the results.

J. Emory Parker / STAT
Source: US Health Resources & Services Administration

Grant cash coming to Maine to assist broaden COVID-19 testing

Maine (WABI) – More than $ 940,000 comes to Maine for COVID-19 testing.

Funding will focus on providing test kits to Maine’s low-income, immigrant and homeless populations.

Senator Angus King said the grant will be used to fund a study by MaineHealth to encourage these groups to get regular tests for the virus.

A research team will follow 150 people in the greater Portland area for a year to see if their attitudes towards regular COVID testing, with or without intervention, change.

The study will begin immediately with additional test sites expected to open in target communities by the end of the year.

Copyright 2021 WABI. All rights reserved.

Homelessness, psychological well being high residents’ want checklist for find out how to spend COVID-19 reduction cash – The Durango Herald

La Plata County is in no rush to determine how close to $ 11 million can be spent

Micah currently lives on the streets of Durango, where he moved from northern Minnesota three years ago. He said Durango could be the best or the worst, depending on a person’s mindset. He recently took a job as a dishwasher at Steamworks Brewing Co. and said a change in the way he thinks and attitudes has benefited his situation. (Christian Burney / Durango Herald)

When asked how La Plata County should spend nearly $ 11 million in COVID-19 relief funds, two common themes were raised by community members who focused on homelessness and mental health programs.

La Plata County has until 2024 to distribute the federal money made available through the American Rescue Plan Act. On Wednesday, the district administrators set out the guidelines for the money and heard from the public how the money should be spent.

A mix of county residents and community leaders attended the virtual meeting hosted on Zoom, which was recorded and made available online.

Several local residents were interested in using the money to help the homeless population of La Plata County. Community Compassion Outreach’s Donna Mae Baukat wanted to know how quickly funds would be allocated after district officials decided how to distribute it.

Community Compassion Outreach has initiated an application process for funding with the Department of Housing, Baukat said. She expects to know if the application will be accepted approximately 65 days after submitting it.

“So the question is, after the Commissioner has examined all the proposals, how soon, shall we say, our project – if we were to state on an input form that we want federal funding for affordable housing – how soon after your decision? will there be funding and how quickly can we know whether we are eligible or not? ”said Baukat.

About half of the total funding, $ 5.4 million, is already available, said county manager Chuck Stevens, but district officials are in no hurry to spend it and intend to take a methodical, measured approach to decide how the money is distributed.

“Every tip I’ve got from the board is that they want to be very thorough and considered,” said Stevens. “They want to get ideas from the community, they want to be very thoughtful. You don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision. It’s a really mushy answer for you, I get that. I would just say submit your project and recommendation. “

Homelessness was a key issue local residents wanted to address at a county virtual meeting on Wednesday to collect suggestions on how to spend nearly $ 11 million in federal COVID-19 aid. Manna, a soup kitchen on Avenida del Sol 1100, started with its own garden in 2004. The facility provides nutritious meals and support services to those in need, and distributes groceries from 9 am to 11 am daily. (Christian Burney / Durango Herald)

Stevens added that the commissioners and the county government will hold a working meeting towards the end of September to formally consider proposals from the public.

Harrison Wendt, a Durango resident and youth mental health advocate, also asked about the process of helping young homeless populations.

“I see it more and more worrying when our young people become homeless and live on the streets,” said Wendt. “College students who don’t have an apartment live in their cars.”

Wendt wondered how best to call for resources: should local organizations make separate requests, or would it be more effective if they banded together as a coalition to come up with one big proposal?

Stevens and District Spokesman Ted Holteen both responded that a coalition would be more effective and increase their chances of successfully distributing money where it would best serve the homeless populations of Durango and La Plata.

“Coalitions are always great,” said Holteen. “If you are like-minded people trying to express a similar problem when you can achieve this type of organization, it is certainly better to submit one form from one group than submit four forms from different people.”

Wendt also asked if mental health was an area of ​​support. He was concerned that mental health was a wide-ranging issue that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic and that it could be excluded from federal aid.

Stevens assured Wendt that mental health was eligible. He added that homelessness issues, which district officials hear about three to four times a week, are of interest to the committee.

“Mental health problems have been exacerbated by the pandemic, I think that is out of the question,” said Stevens. “I think we can conclusively prove that. So that would definitely be a qualified issue. How can we take this into account and ensure that we survive the audit? That would be for the county, but I’m confident this would be a qualified, eligible expense. “

Kristine Melrose, of rural La Plata County, raised concerns about drug use across the county, saying overdoses and a link to street drugs need to be addressed.

“I’ve been in this county all my life, several generations in this county,” said Melrose. “I’ve attended many, many funerals for people who overdosed in our county. I think this should definitely be addressed with the street drugs that are available to people. And especially for the homeless who come to our country, I feel that it’s not just about mental health, but also about the drugs that are available. I know that ultimately it is their decision to take and ingest or whatever they do, but it is still readily available and that should definitely be addressed, it shouldn’t just be an offense. “

Stevens said he believes the board wholeheartedly approves of Melrose.

The county has until 2026 to spend the money it received through the American bailout plan. Holteen said Wednesday that the board intends to allocate the money to generational projects that will have a far-reaching and lasting impact on as many of the county’s residents as possible.

The residents can submit comments, ideas and suggestions to the municipal council for consideration Online formprovided during the virtual meeting and available on the county website.

cburney@durangoherald.com

Inexperienced Lake Township Votes to Maintain Federal COVID-19 Reduction Cash

In May, members of the Green Lake Township Board in Grand Traverse County voted to distribute a portion of their federal COVID-19 aid to township workers, including elected officials.

During a community meeting on Monday, the board voted four to three to put the funds on hold.

Members plan to review where the money is going and make sure it is in line with federal guidelines.

The federal government says the aid money can be used for infrastructure, lost revenue, personal protection and equipment, and staff, as well as the salaries of elected officials.

However, the state says the money cannot go to elected officials.

Marvin Radtke, the Green Lake Township overseer, says the COVID-19 aid money should be based solely on federal guidelines as it is federal money.

Radtke says he and the community clerk invested more than 1,000 hours of overtime to protect the community during the pandemic.

“I was down in the playground and wiped things off according to the instructions of the executive,” said Radtke. “Whenever someone touched the playground equipment, they had to be wiped off.”

A community member who volunteered during the November election says Judy Kramer, Green Lake community secretary, made sure everyone was safe during the election.

“Judy Kramer took such care to keep us healthy. She made sure we had the personal protective equipment we needed, ”said Linda Pepper, a resident of Green Lake Township. “I don’t mind going ahead and rewarding someone who goes far and higher. You kept everyone sane; that is a huge achievement.

The church now plans to hold a series of meetings to get an idea of ​​where people want the funds to go.