County approves FEMA grant request for more COVID-19 testing supplies

At the Cheboygan County Council of Commissioners meeting on November 9, the council approved a request for funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase more COVID-19 testing supplies for Cheboygan County Jail.

If Cheboygan County received the money, the funding would come from funding for FEMA’s COVID-19 Public Assistance Rationalization Project.

“FEMA is providing assistance with costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including testing,” said Sue Buitenhuis, Cheboygan County Finance Director.

Cheboygan County Emergency Management Office Director Lt. Jeremy Runstrom had asked Buitenhuis to apply for this funding as further COVID-19 testing is needed. These tests are necessary for the tests required in the Cheboygan County Jail, as well as for any future required tests to be performed by the county.

“Until December 31, FEMA is 100% funding it,” Buitenhuis said. “So we’re asking for $ 21,600 and we’re asking for this Streamlined Project Application Grant. “

Cheboygan County Sheriff Dale Clarmont said the funding – if granted – would go towards the purchase of approximately 2,880 COVID-19 test kits.

“These are the rapid test kits that come back within 15 minutes,” Clarmont said. “So the estimate was based on how many we would use per month. “

Prison staff estimated that they would need around 200 tests per month, which is roughly the number currently being administered. A small amount was added to that number to do 242 tests each month, to make sure there were enough tests to pass a calendar year.

Sheriff Dale Clarmont

County commissioners voted unanimously to approve the submission of the online grant application to the federal agency, accept the grant if awarded, and authorize Buitenhuis to make any necessary budget adjustments if awarded.

Under current regulations, Cheboygan County Jail is required to test anyone entering the jail for accommodation or leaving the jail to return to the community. This is to help control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

This grant is fully funded by the federal government, there are no local matching dollars required to purchase the tests if the funding is approved by FEMA.

Contact Features Writer Kortny Hahn at khahn1@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.

This article originally appeared on the Cheboygan Daily Tribune: County Approves FEMA Grant Request for More COVID-19 Testing Supplies

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