Oklahoma City CARES Act Funds Dedicated To Response, Testing And Tracing, And Community Support

October 2, 2020

With about three months to go before the federal government’s deadline, the City of Oklahoma City is on track to spend its COVID-19 relief funding on pandemic response, testing and tracing, and community support.

Here’s how the City of Oklahoma City’s $114.3 million CARES Act allocation has been budgeted as of the City Council meeting on Sept. 29.

COVID-19 Response ($50 million)

The $50 million in direct COVID-19 response expenditures reimburse the City for unbudgeted expenses required for the public health emergency. This includes:

Public safety payroll Cleaning and sanitizing City buildings Protective personal equipment (PPE) for employees Building security Facility retrofits Employee testing and quarantine Telework Technology upgrades Pandemic-related employee payroll programs, leave and unemployment

Testing and Contact Tracing ($21.7 million)

The OKC-County Health Department (OCCHD) administers the testing and tracing program, which includes funding for:

Testing supplies, equipment and services Contact tracing Communications and information OCCHD emergency response Public health emergency recovery planning and research, administered by the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), the START Coalition, universities, health centers and other partners

The planning and research component includes a new sewage monitoring project to detect COVID-19, allowing OCCHD to identify where outbreaks may be happening. Evidence shows COVID-19 can be detected in wastewater.

Community Support ($42.5 million)

About $28.1 million went to a business support program, $1 million went to the United Way of Central Oklahoma for nonprofit support, and $13.4 million went to a resident support program administered by Community CARES Partners.

The City’s resident support program provides financial assistance for Oklahoma City residents who lost their job or income because of the pandemic. Eligible expenses include job training and placement services, rent, mortgage payments, utilities and other bills. Community CARES Partners can help residents in the greater OKC metro with other wraparound support services available through other funding sources. Visit okcommunitycares.org for details.

The business support program, including the Small Business Continuity Program, was developed in a partnership between the City, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. The program has specific allocations for businesses with five or fewer employees in Urban Renewal Areas, nonprofits and cultural nonprofits.

You can track the approved Small Business Continuity Program funds on data.okc.gov. There is one dataset for the first round of applications, and another for the second round.

Visit covid19.okc.gov for the latest on the coronavirus in Oklahoma City.

This press release was produced by the City of Oklahoma City. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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