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First round of CARES Act money awarded

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GREENE COUNTY, Mo. — There is about $30 million left from the CARES Act to give out to the community.

With a little over $4 million of those funds awarded Thursday, August 13, the county will now look towards getting the next round done.

According to the County’s CARES Act Transparency Dashboard, the county received hundreds of applications.

“It’s clear from the number of applications and the amounts requested that likely no one will be made completely whole, but we’re going to be fair and just,” said Bob Dixon, presiding commissioner.

Those applications are scored by a Citizen Advisory Council of 30 people from various backgrounds.

“Almost immediately after their approved by the Citizen Advisory Council, they made their recommendations last night, and the Commission voted unanimously this morning to approve those and began the process of cutting checks,” said Dixon.

One organization thankful for that funding is the Greene County Health Department, which has been trying to cover costs for all aspects of their COVID-19 response – one of the most important being contact tracing.

“Contact tracing is an incredibly important part of the process of reducing the spread of disease, and in this case specifically COVID-19,” said Cara Erwin, with the Springfield Greene County Health Department. “We are in the process of hiring six new individuals to help with contact tracing, contact monitoring and epi-investigations.”

That will be important on days like yesterday’s record breaking day of nearly 100 new cases.

“So that’s why we’re in the process of making sure we have all hands on deck so that we can respond as quickly as we can,” said Erwin.

Applications can still be submitted for funding. The funds received have to be spent by the end of the year.

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