BARNSTABLE COUNTY, MA | April 6, 2020– The Baker-Polito Administration has provided $5 million in emergency funding to local boards of health across Massachusetts, of which a total of $200,000 has been allocated to Barnstable County to help communities across Cape Cod respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In collaboration with the Cape’s 15 towns, and acting as fiscal agent to the region, Barnstable County is ensuring that all municipalities receive the appropriated funds. Total funding is being distributed as follows:
Funds will be used for staffing and contracts for surveillance, contact tracing, data management, purchasing PPE for local public health staff, and other public health-related services needed to respond to COVID-19.
Deputy Director of the Department of Health and Environment Erika Woods, called the funding “a much-needed acquisition of resources to combat the virus throughout the region….”, Woods added, “The state funding provides expedient, critical, timely resources and supplies that will be available to each municipality.”
In public health emergencies such as COVID-19, local health departments are stretched to the limit both in staffing and funding. By allowing for quick access to this short-term funding, the State has allowed for those departments to adjust their resources to respond rapidly to the evolving situation.
How Funds are Distributed
Equalized Valuations (EQVs), which have historically been used as a variable in determining a fair and equitable distribution of County Tax to the Towns of Barnstable County, are also being applied with the distribution of Barnstable County COVID-19 Response Grants to the 15 local boards of health.
Barnstable County, with input from the towns, came to a consensus that using this method versus using population-based calculations helps to even out distribution and promote equity.
Significantly, each of the 15 towns was involved in the discussion of this distribution method. If there is an additional identified need, the County and all towns will be involved in the decision to re-allocate the funds as deemed necessary.