Buncombe County Commissioners approved $732,800 for COVID-19 response efforts and an additional ambulance during a special meeting on April 16. Commissioners also approved a resolution supporting expanded COVID-19 testing.
“Frankly, a lot of what we’ve been doing is defense,” said Commission Chair Brownie Newman. “We have to move forward so we can reopen businesses, houses of worship, and schools, but do so in a way that is safe, responsible, and doesn’t undo all the work we’ve done.”
The resolution directs County staff to develop short- and long-term plans for expanded COVID-19 testing with the goal of identifying metrics that help determine if it’s safe to reopen businesses and reengage with communal activities. “It’s clear the testing strategy is important to moving forward… It will also allow us to track if COVID-19 is growing again and keep the situation manageable,” said Newman.
The funding approved will put an additional $500,000 toward ongoing COVID-19 response efforts and $232,800 toward an ambulance that will replace a broken down ambulance. The County was able to secure a demonstration ambulance that will save a six-eight month waiting period for a new one.