Twin Counties receive COVID aid

File photoIn this April 17, 2020, file photo, Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, left, accepts delivery of test kits for the county.

CATSKILL — Greene County lawmakers approved a series of state grants to support COVID-19-related efforts, county officials said.

The County Services Committee approved $64,727 in funding Monday from the Help America Vote Act Grant, designated to address the anticipated impact of COVID-19 on general elections. Columbia County will receive $90,124.

The HAVA grant is based on the voter population. Columbia County has a voter population of 47,367 and Greene County’s voter population is 34,019, according to the resolution.

The Greene County Health Services Committee approved $27,883 in COVID-19 relief last week from the state Department of Health. The funding follows $67,490 from the state that the Legislature approved in April. Columbia County received identical amounts.

The department of health grant award is based on the county’s population, Greene County Public Health Director Kimberly Kaplan said in April.

Greene County had a population of 49,221 in the 2010 census and Columbia County’s population was 63,096.

The funds can be used for costs associated with quarantining, Kaplan said.

“We have to bring them thermometers and information about being quarantined,” Kaplan said. “It needs to be delivered to their homes, which involves a fair bit of driving.”

Greene County Public Health is delivering hand sanitizer and masks to people in quarantine, Kaplan said.

“If we need separate arrangements for housing, that could be included in [the grant],” she said.

Greene County has 69 residents in quarantine, according to data from the Public Health Department.

Columbia County has 177 residents under quarantine, according to the Department of Health.

Columbia County Health Department Public Information Officer Patricia Abitabile said the county has used the state funding to pay its staff, who have been working seven days a week.

Greene County was exploring the option of using the funding to purchase test kits, Kaplan said in April.

Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said Wednesday that he was unsure if the county has received word back from the state regarding applying the funds toward test kits.

The county placed an order for 700 commercial test kits, 25 of which have arrived.

The Greene County Health Services Committee also approved an additional $49,625 from the state for Public Health Emergency Preparedness/Response to Bioterrorism, which will be used for planning and assessment, surveillance, information technology, risk communication and education and training, according to the resolution.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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