covid tracing

The county's response to COVID-19 is trending to be a long-term event that will require extended staffing of many positions in the incident command structure that are not typically funded. In order to meet the needs of an extended response the county supervisors increased the contract amount of its incident management support provider, Command Solutions 4, from $442,000 to $882,000. The contract continues through Feb. 28, 2022.

Earlier this year, the Gila County Health and Emergency Services Department received a $1.6 million state grant for a variety of costs associated with its COVID-19 response: salaries; the purchase of test kits; and hiring support staff.

The county contracted Command Solutions 4 to provide support staff. The contract was for $442,000, to continue through Feb. 28, 2022.

Michael O’Driscoll, director of the county’s health department, asked on Dec. 1 for the Gila County Board of Supervisors to increase the contract amount with Command Solutions 4 to $882,000, meaning more than half of the $1.6 million Arizona Department of Health Services grant will go to the provider.

“Our response to COVID-19 is trending to be a long-term event that will require extended staffing of many positions in the incident command structure that are not typically funded,” O’Driscoll told the BOS. “Additionally, Health & Emergency Management has the upcoming challenge to hopefully plan mass vaccinations of all Gila County residents when and if a COVID-19 vaccination is approved for distribution,” he added.

O’Driscoll said the new allocation to Command Solutions 4 was needed to meet the grant requirements and continue his department’s current public health prevention work.

The added funds would be used to assemble a recovery phase work group and develop a plan to ensure compliance with state and local health ordinances and orders on COVID-19 by food establishments, large venues, hotel/motels, swimming pools, children’s camps, day care centers, museums, parks, businesses and schools.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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