Jackson County approves another $4 million in funding for Runions Act, combating COVID-19

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Legislature approved $4 million in new funding to help combat the coronavirus Monday.

The funding package is named the Rep. Joe Runions Act after the first Missouri state representative to be diagnosed with coronavirus.

RELATED: Rep. Joe Runions recovering at home in Grandview after coronavirus diagnosis

Jackson County legislators nearly doubled their investment in battling the disease Monday after taking more time to consider County Executive Frank White’s initial $10 million proposal.

RELATED: Jackson County executive proposes $10 million emergency funding plan to combat COVID-19

Here’s the breakdown of the newest $4 million:

One million will go for tests or personal protective equipment for staff at Truman Medical Center and the health department.

Another million will help protect staff at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, jail and local police and fire departments.

The remaining $2 million will be used to provide temporary housing for people who don’t have a safe place to stay when they need to be quarantined.

White said contracts are still be negotiated, but it could mean is the county pays for hotel rooms or other spaces for at-risk health professionals to live while they’re on the front lines.

“Some of that housing would be for those folks who don’t want to go home and infect their loved ones,” White said. “It would provide housing for them to go and safely be able to do their jobs.”

The legislature had already earmarked $4.5 million in similar funding for tests and personal protective equipment, but this is the first that may give doctors, nurses and other first responders peace of mind when it comes to their family.

“It really just covers a wide scope. Is it enough? I can’t tell you that, but I think it’s a great start, and we just want to make sure that we are doing our part to keep our community safe and healthy,” White said.

The remaining piece of the Runions Act the legislature has yet to fund is White’s request for $1.5 million for food agencies to deliver food to people who can’t leave their homes.

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