At a live event today in Hackettstown, Gov. Phil Murphy announced $37 million in COVID-19 support for 12 additional New Jersey counties. The 12 counties, which include: Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren, were previously ineligible for federal funding allocated through the CARES Act because their populations are below 500,000.
The funding will be made available to the counties in three separate tranches under one Memorandum of Agreement.
According to Murphy, the first portion of funding, which totals $15.6 million, provides counties with a reimbursement for COVID-19 related expenses to date. The money represents 25% of the county cost share with FEMA paying the remaining 75%, along with other eligible Coronavirus Relief Fund expenses.
The second portion of funding, totaling $4.3 million, will help counties stand up and maintain testing sites. Each county will receive $357,500 for this purpose, according to Murphy.
The third portion of funding, totaling $17 million, is based on population size, with each county receiving funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity to support ongoing testing of vulnerable and high-risk populations. Counties will receive this funding after submitting a testing plan and gaining approval of the plan by the Department of Health, according to Murphy.
Additionally, the governor once again emphasized the need for more federal support, saying, “We are now in month six of this pandemic, and we must anticipate and be prepared for the ongoing and coming needs of our response and that requires federal support. New Jersey is no exception. There is no state in America that has enough money on its own to deal with this.
“Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand,” Murphy continued. “If we do not put our money where our mouth is and offer our communities the support they need to combat this virus, the effects will be manyfold.”
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