UPDATE: Delaware announces Health Care Relief Fund

This story has been updated with new information.

WILMINGTON — The state is using $100 million of CARES Act money to create a Health Care Relief Fund to support Delaware health care providers through the COVID-19 crisis, Gov. John Carney and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services announced on Tuesday.

The fund will support providers throughout the health care industry who have been on the front lines fighting COVID-19 in Delaware. This includes intellectual and developmental disability providers, home health care agencies, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, behavioral health service providers, and Delaware’s hospital systems, according to the DHHS.

The first wave of funding would go to intellectual and developmental disability providers, said DHHS Secretary Molly Magarik.

“While there have been other sources of funding available both at the state and local level, we’ve heard directly through conversations with our providers that, at times, this funding has still left gaps and unaddressed needs,” Ms. Magarik said. “And we also know that we have communities in our state that have really borne the brunt of the pandemic and it could be because many in those communities work in frontline industries where they have repeated contact with the public.”

“Delaware’s health care workers have been looking out for the most vulnerable Delawareans since the beginning of this crisis. We owe them our support,” said Gov. Carney. “This Health Care Relief Fund will make sure that Delaware’s health care providers can safely deliver important health care services as we continue to fight this virus.”

Ms. Magarik said the state is trying to focus the new funds in Kent County and Sussex County, due to the fact the state has already seen roughly $10 million of funding go to efforts in New Castle County communities.

Funding from the Health Care Relief Fund can be used to support COVID-19-related investments, including technology upgrades, purchases of personal protective equipment and environmental modifications in health care facilities, the DHHS said in its announcement.

Another spending category will be the creation of a Resiliency Fund through a partnership with the Delaware Division of Public Health and Healthy Communities Delaware.

“Really identify community providers and partners who are working in communities to address needs created by the pandemic,” Ms. Magarik said.

“So Healthy Communities Delaware and Public Health will work to provide application and implementation support to make sure these entities are able to abide by the requirements of the federal funding. We want to ensure that this message is communicated far and wide so that communities know that this is a source of funding for them.”

Applications for the funding will be available in the coming weeks. Ms. Magarik encouraged providers who think they are eligible to start getting their documents, such as receipts, in order to prepare for the paperwork necessary for the application.

More information on the applications will be available on de.gov/coronavirus when the process is opened. Certain categories could have access to the application by Friday.

Questions about the Health Care Relief Fund can be emailed to DHSS_CaresQuestions@delaware.gov, Ms. Magarik asked to wait to email questions until the applications and guidelines are posted.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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