Local and tribal health departments will share $ 58.4 million from Wisconsin’s share of the US federal bailout law to help them absorb the additional costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Tony Evers announced the public health funding program on Monday morning. Each ministry’s share will include a base amount and an additional amount depending on the size of the population served by the agency.
The governor’s office said the money will be used to help meet new public health needs related to COVID-19, as well as needs exacerbated by the pandemic. Possible uses include testing, contact tracing, immunization programs, public health personnel and improved technology, as well as services to address health disparities.
ARPA funds announced on Monday can be used for expenses incurred from March 3, 2021 to December 31, 2024.
In a joint statement, the Wisconsin Public Health Association and the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards praised the grants, but also warned that it was a one-time infusion.
“While this new funding is a major investment in public health, it is not permanent,” the organizations said. “We urge the state legislature to dramatically increase public health spending in future state budgets.”
The Evers administration has already distributed $ 106.5 million in aid to local and tribal health services to respond to the pandemic, according to the governor’s office.
This story has been updated.
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