Montgomery Co. council approves more than $30 million in COVID-19 funding

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The Montgomery County Council had a busy Tuesday, approving over $35 million in funding for COVID-19 relief and support.

The council approved $250,000 that will go toward paying for hotels for medical professionals who travel long distances to get to and from work. Council members cited a lack of rest and long, stressful shifts for medical and front-line workers when discussing the need for funding.

With the money, the county will work with local hotels and motels to set up lodging arrangements at a greatly reduced cost.

The council approved the establishment of a Public Health Emergency Grant Program. along with $20 million to fund it. According to council documents the fund “will authorize grants to a local for-profit or non-profit business that has its principal place of business in the County and employs 100 or less full-time equivalent employees. The maximum grant for financial losses due to a public health emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, would be $75,000.”

Leaders approved an additional emergency $10 million to go toward increasing the number of hospital beds and critical care capacity at Montgomery County hospitals.

The county is looking to add 500 beds to hospitals, in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

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