By Dan Colton
for The Beacon
More than $6.5 million has been allocated to Sheboygan County in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to state figures.
The bulk of the county’s allocated money – $3,789,533 of it – is being allocated to the Routes to Recovery program, which aims to bolster Wisconsin’s local and tribal governments and to provide paid sick leave to public health and safety workers. Emergency operations, medical and personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies for public spaces, additional testing and housing for infected persons is also included in the Routes to Recovery program.
Routes to Recovery is supported by $190 million in federal funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economics Security (CARES) Act.
Other portions of the county’s relief monies include nearly $1 million for contact tracing. Contact tracing is considered a crucial component in mitigating COVID-19’s impact on communities.
Funds for pandemic planning total $30,000.
Coordination for coronavirus testing received $170,300.
The Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, or WRAP, was leveraged to aid renters who lost their jobs and were unable to pay their rent as a result. The program was allocated $159,236 for Sheboygan County and expired in May.
Farmers also received assistance as part of the package – Sheboygan County was given $609,000 via the Farm Support Payments Program. The first round of payments to farmers with gross incomes between $35,000 and $5 million was distributed in July.
The We’re All in Small Business grant – which has now closed to review applications – was given $807,500. According to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the WASB was designed to provide micro-grants to small businesses most impacted by fallout caused by the new coronavirus to aid with the costs of business interruption and health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.
Statewide, $1.27 billion has been invested via the Routes to Recovery and other relief programs.
In total, 22,564 small businesses have been assisted throughout Wisconsin, according to state data, and 11,884 farms have received financial help.
More than 10 million items of personal protective equipment have been distributed, according to the state, and more than 1 million testing and lab supplies have been received by local communities across Wisconsin.
More than 180,000 Americans have died as a result of the virus since the outbreak began earlier this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Sheboygan County Health and Human Services has reported nine deaths as of Sept. 4.