The County Council plans to vote today (April 5) on a supplemental appropriation to the budget of the Department of Health and Human Services to cover additional COVID-19 costs not included in the original Fiscal Year 2022 budget.
County Executive Marc Elrich originally requested $69.7 million for the department in mid-February. In early March, Elrich asked for an additional $8.4 million to cover pandemic emergency costs.
The joint Government Operations and Fiscal Policy/Health and Human Services Committee reviewed the requested funding in March and recommended approval.
The major expenditures of the funds, according to the council staff report, include:
- $21,500,000 for contractual staff and brokers to support the county’s testing and vaccine sites
- $21,491,000 for rapid COVID-19 tests
- 13,900,000 for county-wide testing
- $8,436,154 for contracts with labs for COVID testing during omicron surge, and
- $8,700,000 for shelters and housing individuals at hotels.
The county plans to request reimbursement for eligible expenses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, though the report notes those may not be received in FY22.
To date, the county has submitted and received $36.2 million in FEMA reimbursement since the pandemic began, according to the report.
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