MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and the state Department of Health Services announced $58.4 million in funding for local and tribal health departments to continue their work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and build a strong recovery. The funding comes from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funding and Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund established by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and adds to the $106.5 million the Evers administration has already allocated to local and tribal health departments for COVID-19 response activities in 2021.
“Our local and tribal health departments have been on the frontlines of this pandemic since the very beginning, and their good work has been essential in stopping the spread and keeping Wisconsinites as safe and as informed as possible,” Evers said. “We’ve worked hard this past year to put our state in the best position to recover from this pandemic, and this funding will help support our local partners in this effort to help build a robust and equitable state and ensure our continued economic recovery.”
The funding will provide resources to meet the public health needs that continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, or to address those needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic and the associated economic downturn. Potential uses for the funding include: measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 such as testing, contact tracing, and vaccination programs; staffing for public health and safety; enhancing public health programs through improvements like technology infrastructure or data analysis; addressing disparities in health outcomes, including services that connect residents with resources, such as health care and housing navigators, and services that support healthy living environments and healthy childhood environments.
“As vital partners in our COVID-19 response, local and tribal health departments have gone above and beyond, and this funding from ARPA will help them continue to respond to the pandemic while also improving systems and building capacity in their communities,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Activities and resources like the ones funded by this investment are the building blocks of Wisconsin’s recovery, and we look forward to continuing to partner with our local and tribal health departments in this effort.”
The $58.4 million in ARPA funding is applicable to expenses that local and tribal health departments incurred from March 3, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2024, and has been allocated to departments based on a formula that includes a base amount of funding with additional funding based on population size.