Daily Record file photo
County accepts funding for contact tracing
The Hays County Commissioners Court voted to accept a grant amendment to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for COVID-19 funding to continue the county’s contact tracing program.
Earlier this year, the county accepted more than $300,000 of COVID-19 funding from DSHS set to end in March 2021. DSHS approved a request to amend the grant category budget to utilize funds that were previously committed to supplies and equipment for additional materials and personnel that is needed to continue COVID-19 contact-tracing efforts.
The positions were previously funded with CARES Act funding that ends on Dec. 30, but now will be funded through March 2021.
In other business, the commissioners executed an Indigent Care Affiliation Agreement between Hays County and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care Corporation for participation in the Section 1115 Waiver Program, assisting Seton in addressing uncompensated care regionally.
They also executed a Padilla Consultation Agreement between Hays County and Capital Area Private Defender Service (CAPDS) involving the Regional Padilla Compliance Pilot Project that will be paid for by a Technical Assistance Grant awarded by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission (TIDC).
The county previously had a similar agreement with myPadilla for connecting defense attorneys with immigration expertise which was funded by this same grant, however that agreement ended on Oct. 31. Now, CAPDS will take over the Padilla consultation services for Hays County.
“We want to thank TIDC for their continued support and grants that they have provided to our county,” Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe said. “This is an important program that will continue to help our defense attorneys have the best information possible for sharing with their clients.”
The commissioners also accepted a $100,000 grant donation from The Burdine Johnson Foundation for Phase Four of the Hays County Historical Jail Restoration Project.
They voted to support the Downtown Association of San Marcos in collaboration with the Dunbar Heritage Association, Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos and the Indigenous Cultures Institute who have joined together to create a mural of inspiration called Celebrate Diversity. The effort will use $250 of the County Judge's available community program fund.
The commissioners supported the Hays County Human Resources Department continuing to make purchases utilizing wellness funds associated with the county's United Healthcare plan.
In relation to COVID-19, Emergency Management Coordinator Alex Villalobos said the county continues to prepare for the delivery of vaccines, and in the meantime they anticipate increasing numbers of cases due to gatherings over the holidays.
Hays County has awarded $190,000 through their long-term recovery agency for rent, mortgage and utility assistance.