Even though the masks are off and the COVID-19 numbers are getting much better, Guilford County government is about to approve $1.8 million for private sector companies to operate a vaccine call center on the county’s behalf.
In the past, the county has handled those calls internally by reassigning county staff and county phone lines. However, that practice overwhelmed county staff at times, which is one reason Guilford County is now outsourcing those operations.
The motion to enter into the two contracts is on the “consent agenda” for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners’ Thursday, July 15 meeting, The consent agenda is a list of motions that the board usually approves unanimously in one vote without discussion. Typically, the consent agenda includes “housekeeping items,” however, it also includes contracts when those are expected to gain unanimous approval with no discussion.
The item on the list is a motion to spend $1.8 million for “COVID-19 vaccine call center and site operations staffing.”
The motion calls for the commissioners to enter into contracts with Protiviti Government Services Inc. and with Carousel Industries Inc. to staff and operate a call center.
In the past, Guilford County has been swamped with calls from people requesting vaccine information and wanting to make appointments. Lately, however, demand for the vaccine has fallen to the point where there’s much more supply than demand.
The money to pay for the service will come from the county’s “fund balance,” which is essentially the county’s savings account or rainy day fund.
The motion reads, “Approve an increase in Appropriated Fund Balance of $1,833,126 and increase the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Health & Human Services – Public Health Division budget by the same amount; and approve contracts, in substantial form, with Protiviti Government Services Inc., in the amount of $1,800,000, and Carousel Industries Inc., in the amount of $33,125.88.”
The contracts will be effective as of July 1, 2021, and will end June 30, 2022.
The county has the option to extend the contracts for one year at the same price, terms and conditions “upon mutual written agreement of both parties.”