Guilford County has seen an influx of a massive amount of federal money over the last two years and that will continue on Thursday, Feb. 3 when the board votes to accept $2.4 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

The money will be used to fund a half dozen positions that will form a “Covid-19 Regional Workforce” that will provide pandemic related services in a nine-county area in central North Carolina.

The NC Division of Public Health received the funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a grant named “CDC Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement: COVID 19 Public Health Workforce.” That grant provides federal money “to establish, expand, train and sustain the state, tribal, local or territorial public health workforces to support jurisdictional COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, response and recovery initiatives.”

The grant-funded, full-time positions will serve nine counties in central North Carolina.  Those positions are as follows:

  • Workforce development regional director
  • Epidemiologist
  • Data analyst
  • Communications manager
  • Project manager
  • Quality improvement officer

The funding covers the first half of 2022 with remaining funds to be reallocated for fiscal 2022-2023, which begins on July 1.

Similar funding is going to nine other regions in the state to “fill critical gaps” in the public health infrastructure there as well. 

The Guilford County Division of Public Health will serve as the lead regional local health department for what’s known as Region 5, which includes Rockingham, Caswell, Person, Orange, Alamance, Durham, Randolph, Chatham and Guilford counties.

As the regional lead, the Guilford County Division of Public Health will collaborate with the other county health departments to identify, recruit and hire staff to support regional activities.  The division will also manage a training program meant to enhance the skills and expertise of health workers battling COVID-19 in the region.