Santa Cruz County

Agenda Item

Approve acceptance of COVID-19 Epidemiology and Lab Capacity Enhancing Detection allocation award from California Department of Public Health in the amount of $2,867,278 for the period of May 18, 2020 through November 17, 2022; adopt resolution accepting unanticipated revenue in the amount of $1,008,898 in Fiscal Year 2020-21; approve the addition of 12.0 full-time equivalent limited-term positions to staff the grant-funded enhanced detection of COVID-19, and take related actions, as recommended by the Director of Health Services


Department:Health Services Agency: Public Health DivisionSponsors:Director of Health Services Agency Mimi Hall
Category:HSA PH - Board LetterFunctions:Health & Human Services

Financial Impact

HSA's Public Health Division was awarded $2,867,278 from the CDPH over the course of three fiscal years for ELC Enhanced Detection Funding for COVID-19. It will be applied to limited-term positions, waste water supplies, continued testing, and surveillance data management. The AUD-60 resolution accepts revenue of $1,008,898 to the HSA Public Health Division Budget in FY 2020-21 from CDPH, Contract #21R0272, under account 362215/40894/H69001. These finances involve no Net County Cost.

Board Letter

Recommended Actions:

1.              Accept a grant allocation in the amount of $2,867,278, Award Number COVID-19ELC44, by the California Department of Public Health for the period of May 18, 2020 through November 17, 2022 for COVID-19 Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Enhancing Detection Funding;


2.              Adopt an AUD-60 resolution to accept and appropriate unanticipated revenue in the amount of $1,008,898 from the California Department of Public Health for Fiscal Year 2020-21; and


3.              Approve the addition of 12.0 full-time equivalent limited-term positions to the Health Services Agency (HSA) budget to staff the grant-funded enhanced detection of COVID-19 to include: Two Public Health Investigators (Alternate Classed Senior Public Health Investigators), Two Public Health Nurse I (Alternate Classed Public Health Nurse 2), Two Clerk I and Two Clerk II, One Administrative Aide, One Clinic Nurse, One Program Coordinator, and One Health Educator (Alternate Classed Senior Health Educator), and direct the HSA to refer the positions to the Personnel Department for classification, recruitment, and hiring.


Executive Summary

HSA seeks the Board’s approval of the ELC Enhancing Detection allocation awarded by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in the amount of $2,867,278. HSA also asks that the Board adopt a resolution accepting and appropriating the ELC Enhancing Detection allocation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21. The ELC Enhancing Detection allocation allows HSA to maintain and enhance the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The activities from this funding will aid in decreasing the risk for COVID-19 transmission in the community; therefore, allowing less restrictions for non-essential businesses and activities, as defined by California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.



Under the authority of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-123), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136), and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-139), CDPH provided a resultant Notice of Allocation, Award No. COVID-19ELC44, to the HSA in the amount of $2,867,278 from May 2020 through November 2022.


HSA’s Public Health Division will utilize this allocation to serve the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The work supported by ELC Enhancing Detection expands upon previous unanticipated COVID-19 funding from state and federal sources. The funding will support increased COVID-19 testing and epidemiologic surveillance-related activities. Additionally, these funds will support work to update our local system of public health surveillance and sustain the ongoing staffing needed to support the ongoing pandemic response.


The allocation of $2,867,278 spans six different strategies, four of which are assigned to the County as noted below, and are detailed in the attached Spend Plan:


1.              Enhancing Laboratory, Surveillance and Other Workforce Capacity, for a total of $537,095;


2.              Improving Public Health Surveillance and Reporting of Electronic Health Data by enhanced disease monitoring activities to identify disparities and track progress in reducing disparities over time, for a total of $335,653;


3.              Using Laboratory Data to Enhance Investigation, Response and Prevention by supporting the State of California’s comprehensive contact tracing programs, California Connected, which was developed in April 2020 and includes an academic training institute, statewide data management and communications platform to support COVID-19 contact tracing work by local health departments, for a total of $1,531,541; and


4.              Coordinating and engaging with Partners by engaging skilled nursing facilities and other health system partners in prevention and containment plans to reduce disease transmission in high risk settings, for a total of $462,989.



Acceptance of this funding will offset existing and upcoming expenses necessary to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 in the community. As part of the SAVE Lives plan, the County aims to Slow the spread of the virus, Adapt to a “new normal”, ensure Vaccines and therapeutics are available in the community, and Elevate public health readiness. HSA will utilize this funding to meet these objectives, by contracting with local organizations to streamline and modernize the public health surveillance system and hiring limited term staff to maintain the response through our community’s recovery of the pandemic.


As of October 2020, HSA has hired 32 extra-help employees and over 40 volunteers for the HSA COVID-19 Departmental Operations Center (DOC). Since the start of the local COVID-19 response, HSA’s extra-help staff have logged 10,545 hours. Based on the existing knowledge of pandemic response plans, HSA anticipates that we will need to sustain this surge workforce for an additional 18 months. Due to the limited annual hours allowed for the extra-help classification, HSA is requesting 12 additional limited-term classifications for an 18-month period, which will be funded by this new grant. The positions will support ongoing COVID-19 infection control guidance, administrative support, and case investigation/contact tracing activities. 


The 12 limited-term positions requested through this funding include:


·              Two 1.0 FTE Public Health Investigators (PHI)/Senior PHI

·              Two 1.0 FTE Public Health Nurses (PHN)/PHN II

·              Two 1.0 FTE Clerk I

·              Two 1.0 FTE Clerk II

·              One 1.0 FTE Admin Aide

·              One 1.0 FTE Program Coordinator

·              One 1.0 FTE Clinic Nurse

·              One 1.0 FTE Health Educator


Approval of this funding and the limited-term positions will ensure that the County maintains the necessary capacity to support the community through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. HSA is committed to working with the Personnel Department to ensure that County staff in budget-impacted positions are given opportunities to be placed in positions for which they meet the minimum requirements.


Strategic Plan Elements

This item supports the following County Strategic Plan Elements:

1.A. Comprehensive Health & Safety: Health Equity

1.B. Comprehensive Health & Safety: Community Support

6.C. Operational Excellence: County Infrastructure


Meeting History

Oct 20, 2020 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Resolution No. 238-2020 AUD60

MOVER:John Leopold, First District Supervisor
SECONDER:Ryan Coonerty, Third District Supervisor
AYES:John Leopold, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput, Bruce McPherson