GC to continue to accept COVID-19 funds

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez stands at the podium in front of commissioners Tuesday as they agree to accept additional COVID-19 relief funds

Grayson County is still looking for ways to recoup money spent dealing with the COVID-19 emergency.

Two out of the county's four commissioners and Grayson County Judge Bill Magers agreed Tuesday to allow the county to continue to accept COVID-19 relief funds. Commissioners Phyllis James of Precinct 3 and David Whitlock of Precinct 2 were not present at the meeting. 

Commissioners Bart Lawrence of Precinct 4 and Jeff Whitmore of Precinct 1 voted in favor of the plan to accept up to $1 million more in such funds.

Magers said part of what the county is trying to do by entering into the Department of State Health Services contract number HHS001019500019 is to recoup money the county had to spend early on.

GC Health Department Director Amanda Ortez said the contract goes back to December of 2020 and extends through June of 2024.

"It's in the amount of $1.4 million and there are no matching funds required," she told commissioners.

Whitmire pointed out that the county's response has been scaled back as the number of active cases in the count falling off sharply.

"It is an insurance policy in the event that it (COVID-19 infections) pops back up, but the key to this really reimburse the county for money already spent," Magers said.

Free COVID-19 vaccines are available to all Grayson County residents ages 12 years and older. If the vaccine recipient is a minor, a parent or guardian must be present. Walk-in clinics are held every Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the GC Health Department. 515 N. Walnut in Sherman.

According to previously provided statistics at least 11,447 Grayson County residents have been confirmed to have had COVID-19 and 371 have suffered COVID-19 related deaths.