Erie County Council continues to take steps to help control the spread of COVID-19.
This time council passed a $950,000 grant creating a bureau to track all COVID-19 expenses.
We spoke to council members on their efforts to give a helping hand during a time of need.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the county, council is taking initiative to track all expenses that are related to the virus in the community.
Erie County Council unanimously approved the creation of a COVID-19 bureau.
The $950,000 grant looks to track all expenses from the pandemic within the county.
“It’s for expanded services and expended needs that are brought by COVID, not things that are already in the budget or funds that we already have being expended under normal circumstances,” said Carl Anderson, Erie County Councilman.
Expenses include infection control, outreach programs, response activities and additional personal added to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
According to Councilman Anderson, the bureau will not directly affect taxpayers.
“We are putting funds forward right now from the reserve account. We’re putting funds into these projects to fight the COVID and looking for the reimbursement down the road,” said Anderson.
County Council is also looking to prioritize under served areas within the county as the pandemic continues.
The outreach program will enhance screenings of residents in lower social classes.
“This is going to be field work. Their going to be going into home and taking in those people in a safe place and help them get tested,” said Kim Clear, Erie County Councilwoman.
Councilwoman Clear tells us the screening program is an efficient way to reduce the number of residents potentially exposed to the virus.
County Council looks to expand the outreach program immediately. This way those who need additional assistance to get tested can be done in a timely manner.