Clallam County to receive additional funds from state health department

Clallam County is in line to receive an additional $1.25 million in COVID-19 relief funding.

The three commissioners vetted Monday,March 1, a consolidated contract amendment with the state Department of Health that adds funding to seven line items in the county’s 2021 Health and Human Services budget.

Commissioners are expected to approve the changes next Tuesday (March 9).

The largest addition is $601,000 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks.

CARES Act

Kevin LoPiccolo, county Health and Human Services deputy director, said the county received $1.5 million in CARES Act funding last year and had a remaining balance of $601,000.

The money will be used for the Clallam County Social Distancing Center in west Port Angeles, a COVID-19 advertising campaign, personnel to assist with mass vaccination clinics and other operational costs, LoPiccolo told commissioners Monday.

The contract amendment also includes $411,368 to ensure “adequate culturally and linguistically responsive testing, investigation and contact tracing” for COVID-19, according to an executive summary.

Commissioner Bill Peach encouraged county support for a Forks Community Hospital letter advocating for vaccinations for migrant workers who move between the West End and agricultural communities in Eastern Washington.

“I feel really strong about that particular letter and looking for mechanisms that would assist in that process,” Peach said in the work session.

Environment

The other six-figure addition was $126,097 for environmental water quality services.

“This is for our PIC (Pollution Identification and Correction) program,” LoPiccolo said.

“Starting in 2022, we’ll bring in an additional $202,000.”

Commissioners requested information on other potential funding sources to help address failing septic systems outside the boundaries of the PIC program.

The other items listed the proposed contract amendment include:

• $58,000 for public health salaries.

• $27,953 for COVID-19 contact tracing.

• $14,582 for COVID-19 vaccine services.

• $11,822 for opioid overdose prevention and outreach.

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