At the Thursday, Sept. 16 meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the board is scheduled to accept and allocate $7,941,292 in federal money “to be used for COVID-19 screening testing and related costs for Guilford County public schools’ students and staff.”

The money is coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from another funding source meant to help schools remain open during the time of the coronavirus. It is passing through the NC Department of Health and Human Services on its way to the county and then to Guilford County Schools.

Pandemics, it turns out, are very expensive for schools and local governments –and this $8 million is just one example of the large amount of relief money that’s been coming in for over a year to Guilford County and other local governments across the country.  For much of the money Guilford County is receiving, there’s a stipulation that, if the county doesn’t spend it by a certain date, it must be returned.

The county’s agreement with the NC Department of Health and Human Services notes the importance of providing school classes in person and the need to do so in a safe manner. 

Given that, the money can be used for hiring school nurses and paying their salaries, as well as to support COVID-19 testing. The money can also be used for hardware and software needed for sorting and reporting the test results and spent for staff travel that is in support of the school system’s testing program.

The funds specifically cannot be used for COVID-19 treatment.

The money is subject to a number of performance measures and reporting requirements that the school system must meet.