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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Hamilton County Schools Could Get CARES Act Funding Infusion

school desk

Updated Nov. 19

Hamilton County commissioners approved the following CARES Act adjustments on Nov. 19.

Hamilton County has about $10-12 million left to spend by the end of the year from its federal CARES Act allotment. It may use some of that to give an extra injection of funding to help cover COVID-19 related costs.County commissioners are considering a proposal to use about $7 million in CARES Act dollars to reimburse schools for expenses.

That might include "personal protective equipment, digital/remote learning tools - laptops, Chromebooks - barriers, extra cleaning required for safe school," explains Assistant County Administrator Holly Christman. "If you have those, you just submit that documentation with a very brief application, you agree to the terms, and once its reviewed and accepted, if it meets the criteria, we would provide the funding to the school before the end of the year."

Schools could apply for the equivalent of up to $50 per student, as long as they have the receipts to prove their expenses. Districts would be able to apply for all of its schools in one application to speed the process along. Schools that are not part of districts can also apply.

Other spending recommendations include $1.03 million for senior needs, $650,000 for Mental Health and Recovery Board programs, and $2 million for health care providers who need to purchase equipment or infrastructure for caring for people with long-term COVID needs.

Commissioners could approve the additional funding allocations Thursday.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.