Also distributes money to expand flu vaccinations

New York State announced on July 30 that it will distribute more than $30 million to counties to hire COVID-19 contact tracers and expand flu shots.

Dutchess will receive $917,000 and Putnam, $360,000.

Most of the funds will be sent to local health departments to hire staff to track COVID-19 infections, but $2 million will pay to expand flu vaccinations in an effort to keep people out of hospitals in the fall, when beds may be needed if there is a COVID-19 surge, as some researchers anticipate. More than 22,000 people in New York state were hospitalized during the 2019-20 influenza season, the state said.

To receive the funds, counties will be required to use the NY Communicable Disease Management System (CommCare) for tracing, the state said. The size of the grants is based on each county’s population and its number of COVID-19 infections.

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