The City of Greenfield and the Towns of Montague, Deerfield, and Sunderland have received a grant of $250,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Public Health (DPH), Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences. Thanks to this grant, these four communities will have increased local nursing and epidemiological support for COVID-19 contact tracing and case investigation for these communities. This grant arrives just in time for the winter season as people move indoors. Having neighboring towns work together to stop the spread as all of us are trying to live our daily lives is a way to ensure to keep all of us safe. Having several municipalities work together toward this common goal is just a first step in improving Public Health coordination in our region.
According to Montague Town Administrator, Steve Ellis, “We are excited that DPH was responsive to our collaborative request for additional capacity. It will enable more rigorous and complete contact tracing, and provide additional expertise as we work to identify and monitor the most relevant indicators of COVID-19’s prevalence and risk, and respond to that evolving risk.“
The City of Greenfield is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, a designated Green Community, and a recipient of the “Leading by Example” Award.
"We are thrilled to have extra capacity for the coming holiday and winter season. Quick and effective contact tracing is key to keeping community transmission in check and all of our schools and businesses open," added Carolyn Ness, Deerfield Selectboard/Board of Health Chair.
Jennifer Hoffman, MPH, the Health Director for the City of Greenfield, said “I am very proud of the grant award and I feel this is finally a way for all of us to communicate and share information without limitations and delays that might have been present earlier on in the pandemic. Although we have been collaborating with one another throughout the pandemic, now, we will be stronger and united in educating our communities as well as transmitting information more quickly to one another”.
The grant will be administered over two years, $125,000 per year, with funds being allocated to the participating communities through the City of Greenfield’s Health Department budget. The funds will be used to hire new nursing staff to serve four communities, as well as public outreach and communication.