County set to receive $1 million boost, in-home test kits, more face masks from New York State
Genesee County is expected to receive up to $1 million to help in its COVID-19 prevention efforts as well as around 3,000 in-home test kits over the next few weeks, County Manager Matt Landers said in response to an email from The Batavian today.
“Based on information from the press release (from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office) yesterday, Genesee County is in line to be reimbursed for up to $1 million in costs,” Landers said.
The money is earmarked for local health departments for vaccine and testing sites, staffing, and personnel expenses related to media campaigns, supply distribution and enforcement of mask/vaccine mandates.
Landers said he doesn’t see the additional funding having a signficiant impact upon the county’s ability – or willingness – to enforce Hochul’s rule requiring those over the age of 2 to wear masks or show proof of vaccination when entering businesses.
“We are still waiting on more guidance on what the money can be used for, but based on the short window to spend this money, it does not appear that Genesee County will have any greater ability to enforce the state’s mask rule,” Landers advised. “More than likely, we will use some of this money to promote our residents to get vaccinated or boosted, testing clinics and vaccination/booster clinics.
“Genesee County believes that masking in public settings does offer greater protection against the spread of COVID-19, and encourages businesses and residents to take appropriate precautions during this holiday season.”
Landers reported that he was just notified that more test kits (likely in early January) and masks (on Thursday) will be coming to Genesee County.
“Our Emergency Management Office is coordinating the distribution efforts for both and we will have details in the days following. We haven’t received word on the exact distribution numbers yet, but we are anticipating around 3,000 take-home test kits to be distributed to the public in early January,” he said.
The county manager said he “appreciates” the open communication line with the governor’s office and the distribution of supplies to rural counties such as Genesee.
According to Hochul’s press release, the state is prepared to release $65 million to New York’s 62 counties to help enforce the most recent mandates, which was announced two weeks ago and expires on Jan. 15.
The governor said she is opposed to more school or business shutdowns to the coronavirus “because we have the tools available to all of us (and) we’re going to keep fighting back.”