City, County hear updates on pandemic and ARP funding

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Members of the Winters City Council and Yolo County Commission heard updates from Yolo County Health Council and shared their plans for American Rescue Plan funding at an informational meeting on Oct. 20.

COVID-19 update
Public Health Director Brian Vaughn gave updates on pandemic conditions. He said there was mostly good news—the case rate is on the decline, “even though it’s a very slow decline,” Vaughn said.

Yolo Health Council expects case numbers to continue going in the right direction, although Vaugh said there may be small spikes due to the upcoming Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays.

As a result of the slowdown in new cases, Healthy Yolo Together’s asymptomatic testing operation will end soon as focus turns to vaccinations.

“The big thing on the horizon for us is that we want to continue to support the schools and keep kids in schools,” Vaughn said.

Authorization for the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11 is expected to be announced in early November. Pending approval, YCH will begin distributing vaccines through the schools. Seniors who received the Pfizer vaccine are also eligible for a third booster dose at any time.

ARP fund allocation
Officials from Winters and Yolo county also presented their respective plans to use funds granted by the American Rescue Plan.

“The tiny and mighty town of Winters is thrilled to receive $1.8 million in ARP funding,” said City Manager Kathleen Salguero Trepa presenting Winters’ ARP funding plan.

Trepa emphasized the importance of funding tourism efforts citing the Hotel Winters which opened only one month before the pandemic. In addition, the city is kicking off a Downtown visioning project with funding from the ARP.

The county was granted a total of $38.6 Million to distribute across a variety of special projects and infrastructure developments. The largest share of county funding, $7.5 Million, will be allocated to the “priority category” of housing and homelessness. Additional categories include, broadband, water and wastewater infrastructure, mental health, food security, and continued COVID-19 response.

The county also identified four key projects as funding recipients.

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