Each W.Va. county getting $100,000 from state for COVID-19 response

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 9:42 PM EDT
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Grants from Gov. Jim Justice's office for $100,000 are going to each of West Virginia's 55 counties to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justice says county commissions are being given flexibility with how these "hero pay" grants are spent.

Justice conceded this is not perfect, because it's difficult to distinguish who is a hero during this crisis and who is not.

The Cabell County Commission got their $100,000 check from the state Friday.

In a written statement, the Cabell County Commission said the letter they got does not specify the money is for "hero pay," but that the block grant funds may only be used for purposes allowable under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which means these funds may only be used to cover necessary expenditures related to the pandemic through the end of the year.

Cabell County Commissioner Kelli Sobonya says they're not allowed to give bonuses, but it's possible a portion of that grant could be used as overtime pay for workers responding to the health emergency. It could also go to purchasing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

Sobonya says the commission will begin talking about exactly where these funds will go at their meeting on Tuesday, although no action on this is expected to be taken then.

How these funds are used will be forwarded to the governor's office. Sobonya says they'll be transparent about where every penny goes.