SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Springfield’s City Council unanimously passed an ordinance amending the Springfield Greene County Health Department’s budget to $2.7 million for the department to hire a company by contract to help them with data management and training.
That company is Maximus Federal Service Inc., provides contact tracing services in other states.
The Health Department has also stated they need 40 contact tracers to help contact positive cases.
The Health Department currently has 134 people who haven’t been contacted, according to Asst. Health Director Katie Towns.
Volunteers from MSU and Cox are helping with the backlog but are not a long term solution, according to Clay Goddard, Springfield-Greene County Health Director.
The people hired will initially be people from the contracted company, then the department will look to employ local people.
Goddard also mentioned there are jobs at the Health Department available for people who want to work.
The expectation is this money will be replaced with CARES Act funding when it comes through.
Goddard said the virus is not waiting on the process to distribute CARES funding properly.
Goddard said that in past situations when he’s dealt with significant viruses, the money came from the federal government with particular rules about how the funds should be distributed. Goddard said that was not the case this time.
There were fewer explanations, leaving it up to the counties to decide how to distribute the money in ways that would stand up to an audit.
Goddard says he understands the process and that they are in communication with the County Commission.
He said the commission allows the Health Department to apply for funds in an earlier group. Goddard expects to turn in that application today.
The Health Department also released Tuesday that Greene County has surpassed 1,000 cases of COVID-19 in Greene County residents on Monday.
“Hitting that 1,000 cases mark is certainly an unfortunate milestone, but while that’s a big number, there is some positive news there as well,” Director of Health Clay Goddard told Springfield City Council on Monday night.