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Document: Cole County CARES Act Funding Requests Approved Nov. 17, 2020

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The Cole County Commission on Tuesday approved federal COVID-19 relief funds for Capital Region Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital to help reimburse costs the Jefferson City hospitals have incurred for COVID-19 testing.

Prior to Tuesday, $647,139 of the $1 million in CARES Act funding the commission had set aside for health care providers remained.

Officials with BKD, the Springfield accounting firm assisting the county in meeting its obligations under the CARES Act, determined each hospital's distribution of the $647,139 based on the percentage of the county's COVID-19 tests each had completed through the end of August.

CRMC completed 58.6 percent of the tests, and St. Mary's Hospital completed 41.4 percent.

The commission approved $379,252 for CRMC, which will help pay for mobile test site employees' payroll, COVID-19 lab testing processing and medical supplies.

The commission approved $223,643 for St. Mary's Hospital to help pay for testing kits, supplies and staffing.

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Because the amount the commission approved for St. Mary's covered all the expenses the hospital applied for in this round of funding, that leaves $44,244 that could be used by either hospital.

Commissioners also approved using CARES Act funds to pay for a $55,000 emergency purchase made last week to upgrade portable ventilators on 11 county ambulances.

Cole County EMS Chief Matt Lindewirth said this will allow the service to match the ventilator settings at hospitals, keeping patients, particularly COVID-19 patients, breathing better while in transport. Lindewirth estimated all ambulances would be upgraded by mid-December.

Commissioners also approved $5,000 in CARES Act money to Greens Accounting on Moreauview Drive for personal protective equipment, sanitizing equipment and telework technology.

With $662,895 in funds approved Tuesday, Cole County still has a total of $3,510,281 in federal COVID-19 relief funding to distribute.

Commissioners directed BKD to reach out to schools, health care providers and municipalities for any more CARES Act requests sent to be submitted the county by today. With only a few weeks left in the year, the county wants to spend all of the more than $9 million in CARES Act funds it was allocated, as any funds not spent would go back to the state to distribute. Commissioners have said they will also consider internal county government costs CARES Act money could be used for.

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