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Summit County schools get $1.1 million in federal money for COVID-19 help

Summit County Health Department
Luis Sosa
Summit County Health Department officials secured more than $1 million in federal money to help deal with COVID.

As kids return to school next week, more than $1 million in federal money will provide additional funding for COVID-19 impacts.

K-12 public and private schools in Summit County will have an additional $600,000 for COVID-19 mitigation for the 2022/23 school year. And the county health department is receiving another half million to fund more staff and emergency response needs.

The funds are part of a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant awarded to Summit County.

Half of the $600,000 is for public schools, with the other half earmarked for charter and private schools. Summit County Deputy Health Director Shelly Worley said school districts must apply to the county for the money, which can be spent on many forms of COVID relief and response.

"Hopefully, that full $600,000 will be used for this upcoming school year," Worley said. "Some of the schools intend on hiring mental health professionals to come in and help support their students and their staff. I know one request was looking at nursing support. There's an opportunity for schools to look at the needs of their students and their staff. They are really the best to determine what the needs are of their students."

Worley said schools could spend the funds on anything from extra teaching staff to sanitation and purification.

In addition to the school funds, another $500,000 in DHHS grant money will fund a nursing position to act as a liaison between the county and schools. Summit County is now working to fill this position.

Those funds will also help cover administrative costs. The county will reserve the remaining money for emergency COVID responses.

North Summit, South Summit, and Park City School districts will receive $100,000 each for COVID mitigation.

Worley said the county health department could request more money from DHHS for schools if needed.

"What happened this year is, they said, we're going to have these funds available again through the 2022-23 school year." Worley said, "If you would like to request additional funding, you can submit for that, and we would be more than happy to work with you on it.”

Worley said in the past, only public schools were eligible, but this year, all schools can apply for relief money through the DHHS grants.

Not all schools in the county have applied for COVID relief money yet. August 11 is the deadline for turning in applications, and the county will distribute the remaining funds by August 18.

For information or to apply for the DHHS grant funds, email sworley@summitcounty.org

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.