The City of Madison and Dane County are putting forth budget amendments for Public Health Madison & Dane County to support COVID-19 response efforts.
Utilizing federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, the additional $694,068 in funding will include $250,000 to support people who are in isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the funding will create eight staff positions; two Public Health Nurse positions with an emphasis on infection control, four Disease Intervention Specialist positions to do contact tracing, and two communications positions to support tailored messaging and outreach.
“Providing isolation support and contact tracers bolsters our ability to contain illness and is instrumental to getting Dane County on a path to recovery. Our public health department has done a phenomenal job responding to this pandemic, but we have a long way to go. This funding gives them some much needed resources and tools to continue to respond to, and contain, COVID-19,” said County Executive Parisi.
“This is a necessary investment for the health and safety of our community. Now more than ever nuanced, timely, and culturally relevant outreach is critical to our success in keeping people safe and healthy,” said City of Madison Mayor Rhodes-Conway.
In addition to building internal infrastructure within Public Health, the funding will also build community resilience, through the creation of two infection control practitioner positions. They will provide in-person expertise for infection control and mitigation within facilities serving some of our most vulnerable populations, like long-term care facilities and shelters.
“We see this need when we are working with not just our area long-term care facilities, but across all essential businesses. This role will help organizations manage and mitigate current outbreaks as well as provide preventative support and guidance for facilities that have not yet experienced a positive case of COVID-19,” said Janel Heinrich, Director, Public Health Madison & Dane County.
As a joint city/county public health department, funding amendments for Public Health Madison & Dane County must be approved by both the City of Madison and Dane County. Pending this, funding is anticipated to be effective June 1, 2020.