Gov. Ducey announces plans for distributing coronavirus relief funding

Some Arizona communities will receive coronavirus relief funding from the State government, under a plan announced by Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday.

Details of the plan were released Wednesday, and under the plan, there will be $441 million in direct, flexible funding allocated to local cities, towns and counties that did not receive direct funding earlier in 2020 from the Federal Government under the CARES Act.

Funding for $441 million initiative will come from the AZCares Fund, according to a statement released by state officials, and the funding will be allocated based on 2019 census data.

"Local governments may use their allocation to cover regular payroll costs of public health and public safety personnel, freeing up existing local budget capacity to be deployed elsewhere," read a portion of the statement.

In addition, officials say local governments, tribal communities, schools and other entities will be eligible for expedited reimbursements from FEMA for coronavirus-related expenses, including the purchase of testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), among other things.

Officials say the Governor's Office will provide $150 million to expedite FEMA reimbursement requests.

Gov. Ducey has faced pressure recently on the issue of coronavirus funding. In mid-May, the Associated Press reported that the Board of Supervisors in Pinal County have voted unanimously to sue over the state's $1.9 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding that the state received.

“If he’s going to be a bully, you have to punch a bully in the face,” Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer told the supervisors. “The only way to stand up to the governor right now is to initiate suit.”

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.

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In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.