As the pandemic continues, Guadalupe County officials continue to track spending related to the new coronavirus, a spokesman said Tuesday.
The county has spent nearly $56,000 on COVID-19 virus-related expenditures, Guadalupe County Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Pinder said. The federal government already has set aside about $2.4 million to reimburse Guadalupe County for related expenses, County Judge Kyle Kutscher said.
“There’s going to be a lot of misconceptions, a lot of comments out in the public, this free money and what it’s for,” the judge said. “We’re not going to get $2 million unless we can prove it’s COVID-related expenses.”
Commissioners held the discussion during Tuesday’s regular meeting. Near the beginning of recent meetings, Pinder has provided the court with an update on the county’s COVID-19 response.
Guadalupe County as of Tuesday morning had spent $55,744.22 related to the virus, Pinder said. Nearly half of the expenditures were for personal protection equipment. Another large amount went for things like hand sanitizer and hand wipes, the emergency coordinator said.
Cleaning supplies and other smaller expenses made up the remainder of the sum, Pinder said.
He reported that the county saw six more positive COVID-19 test results, two each on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The county’s total had reached 99 confirmed cases with 77 patients recovered, Pinder said.
One of the state’s most recent positive test results came from someone associated with a nursing home in Schertz, he said.
“(Monday) the governor announced ... they want to start testing every nursing home staff member and patient,” Pinder said. “This is going to start pretty soon. I don’t have a time frame on this but I hope to get to it soon. It’s kind of ironic because (Monday) we were made aware of a case at a nursing home.”
Pinder had no further details about the patient except the name of the facility with which that patient was associated, Silver Tree Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
“I don’t know how this patient tested positive,” Pinder said. “I don’t know where the patients is at. I have no information on that facility other than I was notified they had a positive case.”
County offices began reopening in recent weeks after stay home-stay safe orders began expiring statewide and Gov. Greg Abbott began implementing a plan to restart the economy.
Pinder and employees in his office have begun meeting with employees in other county departments to help them reopen and get back up to speed. The emergency management coordinator’s office has helped other department heads set up operations to continue social distancing while conducting the county’s business, he said.
That includes keeping track of any expenses related to the virus and filling out forms documenting those expenses, Pinder said. Abbott has made any relief funds conditional on providing proof the expenses went to COVID-19-related things, Pinder said.
The same goes for every municipality and jurisdiction across the state, Kutscher said.
“The challenge is this is not just money being sent to these jurisdictions for any economic loss or downturn,” the judge said. “If we go back to the special meeting Thursday, I think it was, March 19 when Patrick laid out the importance of collecting and filing those expenses, this is where it’s going to come into play.”