ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page named a senior advisor for the community group that will work closely with his administration on how to spend millions in federal funding.
The county is expected to receive funding from the CARES Act on April 24.
Cindy Brinkley will work with Page as senior advisor for CARES Act fund in the county. A community group will work closely with the Page administration on ways to use the nearly $175 million to help save lives and provide residents with basic needs and revive the economy.
"We need to make sure we spend these funds the right way," Brinkley said. "It's a privilege for me to be a part of this."
Page said the county needs to purchase testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) among other things.
He emphasized that the county needs to get its orders in for COVID-19 tests. He said the county will need full council support to get those orders in on Tuesday.
“We have some funds in the health department we’ve been able to make some small orders on tests and will continue to do that – I would like to make larger orders, which there would be a process for that and I’d like to get that process started,” Page said.
Page said testing supplies will continue to be distributed equitability.
“We will continue to distribute the tests based upon criteria and what we know is members of our African American are more likely to meet the criteria because they have a higher prevalence of chronic health problems and limited access to care and that’s why we’ve seen on the ZIP code map, so far – a very hard hit region hit in north St. Louis County from having positive tests and we know from our reports at our hospitals that we’re seeing a lot of African American patients hospitalized,” Page said.
Page said there will be a transparency portal that will include expenses to date and what is able to be reimbursed. He said the portal is under construction and plans to have it up and running by the time the county receives funding on April 24.
As of April 17 at 9 a.m., there are 2,054 confirmed cases in the county. Seventy people have died from the virus.
On Thursday, Page announced that the county’s stay-at-home order has been extended. It was originally supposed to end on April 22. He said officials will reassess the situation in May. An exact date has not been given.
In Friday's briefing, he said he needs to watch the trends and curves in the county and St. Louis region along with the hospital system's capacity and the ability to buy testing supplies before making a decision on when to reopen.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced the stay-at-home Missouri order has been extended until May 3.