Nick McWilliams reporting – With a hard surge in coronavirus leading many to believe the tide will not turn for months to come, the Tuscarawas County Health Department is setting aside money for COVID measures next year.

During a recent board meeting, Health Commissioner Katie Seward discussed the allocation of funds for further contact tracing into 2021.

According to Seward, a majority of the dollars will come from grants, with a portion going to the New Philadelphia City Health Department.

“It is an award amount of $62,572 with a pass-through of $11,665 to the New Philadelphia City Health Department for the purposes of contact tracing in fiscal year 2021. I’ve also factored in a cash advance of $30,000.”

A fund will be created for the contact tracing, with the potential for additional contributions later.

No indication was given as to how long contact tracing and other measures will remain in place due to uncertainty related to how the virus numbers will change with the distribution of a vaccine in mid-December.

All funds will be used for salaries for contact tracers and other applicable fringe costs.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2020