How Central CA counties will use $50 million federal grant money to fight COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than $50 million in federal grant money will be dispersed through the eight counties in the Central Valley, including Tulare, Merced, Madera, Fresno, and Kings counties.

Carrie Monteiro with the Tulare County health department says they're averaging about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a week, which is leading to a backlog in contact tracing.

Many of the cases are coming from the southern part of the county, such as Porterville, Earlimart, and Tipoton, and about 50% of the cases are from Latino communities.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig says along with using money to expand testing, the dollars will also go toward access of PPE to frontline and essential workers.

He says some of it could go toward extra staffing at hospitals, and for the convention center if it's needed.

"The hospitals are working to the extent to not go that route, but it might be inevitable to use the convention hall in the future," he says.

Newsom also added that strike teams made up of officials from CAL OSHA and the State health department will be deployed to the area soon.

Senator Borgeas says the appropriation of funds has to go to the legislature and expects counties will have more clarity on when they'll receive funds in early August.
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