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UPDATE: Supervisors approve $20M for cities to cover COVID-19 response costs

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UPDATE: During this morning’s meeting, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved $20 million for cities to cover expenses from their COVID-19 responses.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield is expected to receive $13 million in federal funding to help cover costs from the city’s COVID-19 response.

During its Tuesday meeting, the Kern County Board of Supervisors will consider approving an agreement for the distribution of $20 million in CARES Act funding to cities in the county for the reimbursement of money they’ve spent responding to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Bakersfield would receive the bulk of the funding, with Delano receiving the second-largest amount at $1.8 million. All cities in the county would receive a portion of funding based on their population, according to the county. 

The funding is part of $157 million Kern County received from the federal government. Last month, the board approved a plan for how to spend the money, some of which will be used to reimburse the county for its own costs as well as for a small business relief program. 

The $20 million for cities is intended to be used for expenses relating to personal protective equipment, telecommuting, sanitizing, public health order enforcement, according to the county.

While staff time initially did not qualify for coverage under the funding, the county changed its initial proposal and will now allow the funding to be used to reimburse payroll expenditures relating to COVID-19. Funds must be used by Dec. 31, according to the county.

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