State lawmakers allocate more federal funds for COVID-19 relief

A total of $244.2 million dollars was approved.

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 10:44 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2020 11:06 AM

SALEM, Ore.-- Wednesday afternoon, the Joint Emergency Board in Salem approved $244.2 million in federal funding to be used for coronavirus relief.

The board, which is made up of members from the statehouse and the state Senate, approved money to go to the Oregon Health Authority and various "community-based groups." Lawmakers said the money will be used for contact tracing, testing, and addressing how the pandemic has created disparities in minority communities.

Of that bulk, over $94 million will go to the Oregon Health Authority to ramp up testing and contact tracing. The state agency will also distribute $45 million to different community groups throughout the state. There was a push to allocate $105 million to the Department of Administrative Services for more personal protective equipment, but that failed to pass.

On a side note, a special session will convene this Monday to address issues relating to the budget.

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