Thanks to a CDC agreement, Brookfield and 20 other health districts to get funding bump for COVID-19 response
Photo: Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media
Brookfield is one of the first health districts in Connecticut set to receive money to amp up its COVID-19 response from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreement.
Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont announced in a release that the town would get a slice of the $20 million the state got through an agreement with the CDC. There are 20 other health districts receiving a cut at this time as well, according to the release.
The funding, which will be shelled out over three years, means Brookfield can expect $26,348 for the first year, and $65,870 overall in that span, according to the release. First selectman Steve Dunn said they’d use the money to aid their contact tracing efforts, including bringing on a person with a master’s in public health to spearhead the effort.
“They know how to do it, they know how to talk to people,” Dunn said last week. “And that’s going to be critical going forward I think, towards identifying — you know the state’s changing to the orange, red, right? — and we want to be able to identify those hotspots much more quickly than we have in the past, so that’s going to help us do that.”
As of Friday, state COVID-19 data shows Brookfield has moved into an orange category, which indicates there are “10-14 cases per 100,000” people, according to the tracker. Between Oct. 11 and Oct. 24, the tracker indicates the town had 26 positive cases, and it’s bordered by some areas with higher case counts, too — Danbury and Bethel are in the red and orange categories, respectively.
The agreement with the CDC that provides for the funding is known as the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity cooperative agreement. It started in 1995 and has given money to “all 50 states, several large local health departments, and U.S. territories and affiliates to detect, respond to, control, and prevent infectious diseases,” according to the CDC.
The fund disbursement doesn’t end at these 21 districts, either — eventually, “[a]ll of Connecticut’s 65 local health districts and departments will receive a portion of the $20 million based on per-capita and poverty levels for each jurisdiction,” according to the release.
“Contact tracing is one of the most important pieces of our state and nation’s response to COVID-19,” said Dr. Deidre Gifford, the state’s acting public health commissioner, in the release. “I am pleased that this funding has started to be distributed, and I encourage any health district that hasn’t already applied for this funding to do so as soon as they can in order to support these efforts.”