PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — With the halt of federal funding for COVID-19 testing sites this past spring, Bay County has had to find other ways of keeping the much-needed site up and running.
Bay county spends about $500,000 in CARES Act funds per site each month. With two operating sites, it costs the county about $1 million per month to keep them running.
Bay County public information officer Valerie Sale said these invoices are one-week invoices, and they are high because they are from weeks leading up to the holidays. But on average, she said the COVID-19 sites run the county about $1 million per month.
County manager Bob Majka said these funds were made available through funds originally requested for Hurricane Michael recovery.
“A significant amount of the CARES Act funds that we’ve gotten from the state, we were able to bring back because of expenses realized last year,” Majka said. “But that money will flow in and we’ll just use it right again for CARES Act expenses to continue paying for [the sites].”
Majka added that the county has plans to fund the sites with CARES Act dollars through August, and with the increasing rollout of the vaccine, these sites will most likely turn into hybrid vaccine-testing sites.