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Allegany County awash in Covid-19 grant funding, includes a “mobile vaccination vehicle”


Two major grants, totaling $376,000, have been approved the Human Services Committee

Picture provided of Santa Clara County, CA mobile unit

By Andrew Harris

Last week the county legislative committee overseeing the Allegany County Health Department meet and received a regular monthly update from Deputy Public Health Director Jamie D’Arcy. The report included some interesting updates on the increase in Covid-19 infections and efforts to mitigate the illness in our county. The Health Department will be doing focused outreach this summer to better inform the public on Covid-19, vaccines, and help do some myth-busting. That effort just got a major boost with grant funding from the state and federal government.

Much of that aid will be used to fund a mobile vaccination unit. Here are the minutes from that meeting and a breakdown of how that funding will be spent. Keep in mind this funding must be used for this purpose, legislators can not re-appropriate the money for other uses.

“The Department of Health requested a resolution to accept and appropriate additional grant funding (COVID-19 Vaccine Response Contract #C36916GG) from NYS Department of Health to be used for COVID-19 vaccine implementation expenses retroactive to January 1, 2021, and is available through June 30, 2024. The majority of the grant funds will be used to procure and operate a mobile vaccination vehicle allowing the County the ability to better provide COVID-19 vaccinations in remote and rural locations. Additionally, the funds will be used to purchase vaccination supplies, assist with integrating COVID-19 and vaccination data into the medical records system and with education and outreach. The expenditures have been approved by the State and the vehicle purchase has also been approved at the Federal level as well.

Revenues: A2029.3089.COVID State Aid – COVID-19 $176,663

Appropriations: A2029.204 Motor Vehicles $87,000 A2029.206 Health Equipment $400 A2029.404 Maintenance Contract – Other $2,000 A2029.406 Insurance/Bonds $1,250 A2029.408 General Supplies $15,000 A2029.409 Fees $45,313 A2029.422 Gasoline/Oil $5,700 A2029.462 Health Contracts $20,000 Total: $176,663″

Motion to Approve by Legislator Harris, second by Legislator Root.

The balance of the grant money is listed as “unrestricted” in how the county must spend the money. The minutes of the meeting tell another story though as these funds are tied to masks and mask education. According to the minutes, the $200,000 should be spent for fairly specific purposes:

“The Department of Health requested a resolution to accept and appropriate federal monies released by the NYS Department of Health, through the Health Research Institute. These funds, which were previously restricted, are associated with the State’s <Mask or Vaccine= mandate and are designed to assist Allegany County in providing masks to residents and to increase public awareness. The purchase of KN95 masks, billboard advertising, and media outreach has been approved by the State.

Legislator Harris of Alfred made the motion and with a second by Legislator Hanchett to send both resolutions to the Ways and Means committee, of which Harris is Chair.

Expect to see a mobile vaccination unit with lots of free masks in action around Allegany County in the future.

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