• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2020

County allocates money for COVID-19 testing, outreach and prevention

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners has allocated state Coronavirus Relief Fund money for local testing, sanitization stations, enhanced COVID-19 outreach and business support.

The commissioners approved the allocation during a special meeting on May 26. It includes $500,000 for COVID-19 testing that will be conducted at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health as well as at faith and community organizations. Testing will be for individuals identified as high risk in underserved populations and those who have been exposed to confirmed cases of the virus identified by contract tracing.

“What we’re proposing is doing pop up sites in various zip codes,” said Health and Human Services Director Shontell Robinson.

There is $150,000 allocated to sanitization stations at the entrances of municipal buildings for Forsyth County Government, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Rural Hall, Lewisville, King, Tobaccoville and Clemmons. These stations include signage and hand sanitizer along with masks for visitors who don’t have them. It is now expected that visitors to all County Government buildings should wear masks.

There is $200,000 allocated for enhanced outreach through a marketing campaign that will target the entire county that will be designed to encourage the public to continue taking precautions against COVID-19 as the state reopens to reduce the likelihood of a second surge.

There is $300,000 for a repository of PPE and sanitary supplies for small businesses in the county to aid in compliance with public health measures as they re-open. The county will be working with Greater Winston-Salem, Inc., local chambers of commerce and local municipalities to find out what businesses’ biggest needs are. Businesses will be able to apply online through Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. to request these supplies, and the focus will be to serve as many businesses as possible.

There is also $100,000 for grants for businesses affected by COVID-19. The money will be distributed by Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. and Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership through their Small Business Relief Grant Program, which has already raised $250,000 in private funds and has received 147 grant applications as of last Thursday.

For Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.’s resources for businesses during this pandemic, visit www.winstonsalem.com/covid-19/. For information on applying for the small business grant, visit www.winstonsalem.com/grants.

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