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Document: Cole County CARES Act Funding Requests Approved Sept. 15, 2020

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Document: Jefferson City CARES Act Funding Requests Approved Sept. 15, 2020

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The Cole County Courthouse will be deep-cleaned and Jefferson City government will receive pandemic-related supplies after the Cole County Commission approved several requests for federal assistance Tuesday.

The commission approved three sets of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act requests, together worth $86,131.

One set included 10 telework stations for court clerks and pre-trial release staff, at a cost of $15,000.

Monthly deep-cleaning of the courthouse, approved in the same request, will cost $5,000 a month for four months, for a total cost of $20,000.

Judge Jon Beetem represented the court in its request.

"At any one time, we would like to have about 40 percent of our clerk staff out of the building," according to the court's request. "The same would apply to our pre-trial release staff (who assess and advise the judges about pre-trial release risks of defendants held in jail)."

The estimated cost to set up eight telework stations for clerks and two more stations for pre-trial release staff was $1,500 each, including laptops or other equipment such as printers, scanners and monitors.

Having fewer staff on site means fewer people than usual are available to deal with the public, however.

"When the remaining staff is required to service the public, they are diverted from completing their assigned tasks. The Same happens to the security staff when they are called up to assist with the cleaning and sanitizing or directing people around the building," according to the court's request. "We have no staff for cleaning, either a deep cleaning or the frequent sanitizing of common areas."

The commission also approved a separate CARES Act funding request for the courts for $8,250 to fund an additional security officer.

That amount would cover 500 hours for an additional officer to work four hours in afternoons, at a rate of $16.50 per hour. The cost breakdown was 88 hours for July, 80 hours for August, 84 hours for September, 88 hours for October, 72 hours for November and 88 hours for December.

A third set of CARES Act requests approved by the commission included $42,881 of needs identified by Jefferson City government:

Equipment and supplies, including personal protective equipment such as masks and disinfectant, $22,575.

Medical, public health and supplies, such as barriers and tape for blocking off areas, $13,998.

Technology for telework capabilities, such as conferencing software memberships and webcams, $6,308.

No breakdown by city department was available.

The commission also approved a contract between the Cole County Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for DHSS to reimburse the county Health Department for nurses' time providing off-site flu clinics for at-risk adults.

Cole County Health Department Director Kristi Campbell said the contract is worth $17,500.

The Health Department has done such clinics before, but DHSS has not reimbursed the efforts, Cambell said.

She said the primary off-site locations for flu clinics have been the Samaritan Center, Project Homeless Connect and The Salvation Army, all in Jefferson City.

DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams has stressed the importance of Missourians getting a flu shot this year to give hospitals the capacity to deal with flu, COVID-19 and other concurrent seasonal health issues.

This article was edited at 2:05 p.m. Sept. 16, 2020, to link to Jefferson City's CARES Act funding applications approved Tuesday.

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