NEW JERSEY – Acting on a commitment to deliver relief to communities who were not eligible for federal funding allocated through the CARES Act, Governor Phil Murphy Thursday announced $37 million in support for 12 additional counties to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be made available to counties in three separate tranches under one Memorandum of Agreement. The 12 counties include: Atlantic; Burlington; Cape May; Cumberland; Gloucester; Hunterdon; Mercer; Morris; Salem; Somerset; Sussex; and Warren. These counties were ineligible for Coronavirus Relief Funding because their populations are below 500,000.
“There is no denying that COVID-19 has placed an incredible amount of strain on resources across all levels of government,” Murphy said. “I’ve been clear from day one of this crisis that we’ll spare no expense to protect the health and safety of New Jerseyans, and that requires us to provide our communities with the support they need. Together, this funding will help us save lives and emerge stronger as one New Jersey family.”
The first portion of funding, approximately $15 million in total, provides counties with a reimbursement for COVID-19 related expenses to date. This money represents 25 percent of the county cost share with FEMA paying the remaining 75 percent, along with other eligible Coronavirus Relief Fund expenses. These funds will be made available to all 12 counties upon signing the MOU and upon proper documentation of the expenditures. were made available to all 12 counties upon signing the MOU.
The second portion of funding will help counties stand up and maintain testing sites. All 12 counties will receive $357,500 for this purpose.
The final allotment is based on population size, and each county will receive funds from the CDC’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for the Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases to support ongoing testing of vulnerable and high-risk populations. Counties will receive this funding only after submitting a testing plan and gaining approval of that plan by the Department of Health. The sum total of this portion of funding is $17 million.
A breakdown of funding by county can be found here.
“No corner of our state has been immune from the pandemic as communities across New Jersey bleed resources to combat COVID-19 and maintain essential services, while revenues continue to plummet due to the pandemic’s economic fallout,” U.S. Senator Bob Menendez said. “While this funding will help alleviate some of the strain on local budgets, our towns, cities and counties need more federal assistance to address their growing needs. That’s why I am leading bipartisan legislation that will deliver robust, direct and flexible federal funding to every community in the nation, regardless of its size, in any new coronavirus stimulus package.”