Tompkins County will receive $306,837 from New York State to support COVID-19 contact tracing efforts by the county's Health Department and preparing for the upcoming influenza season.
The money is part of a $30 million initiative from the state to support counties throughout New York keep up with coronavirus tracking efforts. While Tompkins County is the 23rd largest county in New York, it received the 29th most money among counties statewide. Money was allocated based on population and percentage of COVID-19 cases statewide, so Tompkins County's relatively low case numbers played a factor.
A press release with the announcement of the grant funding notes that the money will be used to expand contact tracing staffing and that there's an additional $2 million available to counties to make flu immunizations more widely available.
"As we continue to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are also preparing for the upcoming fall flu season," Cuomo said Thursday while announcing the funding. "We are making $30 million dollars in grant funding available to counties to increase their contact tracing--which has worked very well for us--and to expand flu prevention and vaccinations to help ensure counties are ready to provide both flu and COVID-19 testing to residents."
As of June, the infectious disease contact tracing team had jumped from six people to 30 in reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, utilizing workers from the environmental health department.