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0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02e0000KPCW's COVID-19 news coverage for Summit County and Wasatch County, Utah. 0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02f0000You can also visit the Utah Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites for additional information.

Summit County Council Discusses How To Allocate Federal Covid Aid

Summit County Health Department

Summit County, like many other state and local governments, is receiving aid from the federal CARES Act.

The County Council on June 17th  discussed their priorities for using that funding, including what it can and can’t be spent for.

The Council heard at their last meeting that under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, Summit County could receive, at most, nearly $6 million.

It is due to come in three allocations and has to be spent before the end of the year.   The county has received the first, nearly $2 million.

The directive is that the money can’t be used for items the county had previously budgeted, but has to go for unexpected expenses due to the COVID crisis.

Council Chair Doug Clyde said they won’t have a problem doing that.       

“Finding a place to spend that $6 million is not a problem.  We’ve got plenty of COVID-related expenses that we’ve already spent money on, and plenty more that this funding allows us to spend money on.   They range from everything from public education to quarantine facilities to tracking patients, tracking contacts from people that are infected and had contact with other individuals which we’re now tasked with tracking.”

Clyde said in the meeting that one funding priority for him is to communicate a clear message about COVID safety to residents and visitors alike.   He said that right now, the message is fractured between the county and its Health Department, Park City Municipal, the Chamber/Bureau, the Restaurant Association  and the Lodging Association.

“All of those people are delivering messages about how to stay safe and stay well.   We need to collect all those efforts, formalize them in a uniform message so that the public understands when they come to visit our properties, what it is that we expect of them.”

He said there’s an essential message they have to get across.      

“We are not going to recover in any meaningful way in the near term if we do not change our behavior.   And by changing our behavior, that principally involves social distancing and wearing masks.    Unfortunately, there is not a uniform ethos, if you will, about wearing masks with the public throughout the country, let alone throughout the state.”

Clyde said that another relatively small but essential need will be quarantine facilities for some people after they leave the hospital.       

“And this was triggered by an anecdote, essentially, of a person who was hospitalized with COVID, was on oxygen, managed to recover to the point where they were able to go home.  But going home meant going home to a small apartment, very high living density with her surrounding family members.   That is not a practical model.   We need some place for those individuals to be able to quarantine, and especially with our most vulnerable population, we can’t expect em to quarantine on their own.  It’s all they can do to maintain their existing living situation.”

Summit County Council Chair Doug Clyde.

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