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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

State, feds have spent $26.3M fighting Zika, Miami-Dade wants more support



Florida health officials have divvied up $26.3 million of emergency money set aside by the state and federal governments to combat the Zika virus.

Of that money, $19 million is expected to be used for mosquito control, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

DOH plans to spend $5 million to test pregnant women for the virus, which is linked to birth defects, and another $4.1 million for lab infrastructure. The state has used $569,640 for Zika kits that include bug spray, condoms and information about the virus.

Earlier this summer, Gov. Rick Scott announced $26.2 million emergency spending on the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has committed more than $9 million, as well. That’s in addition to mosquito control budgets by the state and local mosquito districts.

Still, some local governments are starting to demand additional state support.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrote a letter this week asking Scott to immediately reimburse the county for the money it’s already spent on mosquito spraying and community outreach.

“These efforts are ongoing and will likely fluctuate due to changes in demand and market costs. We are engaging community participation to help deliver services,” he wrote. “I also urge you to consider an economic recovery package for our businesses in the Wynwood community that have been impacted.”

Miami-Dade County has received $316,800 to date, more than any other county but no more than they had received last week.

“When the first case of travel-related Zika was identified in our state in February, Governor Scott declared a public health emergency to ensure all counties – including Miami -Dade – had every tool they needed to fight Zika,” Scott spokeswoman Lauren Schenone said in a statement. “Gov. Scott has also stayed in constant communication with Mayor Gimenez to ensure Miami-Dade County has all of the resources they need.”

The Department of Economic Opportunity has been in contact with local governments, Schenone said.

A further $9.4 million has not yet been allocated to counties. Scott promised additional funding if it’s needed.

Last week, the Times/Herald reported that $1.9 million had been spent by the state.

On Friday, the state confirmed three new Zika infections contracted after people were bitten by mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County.

To date, 23 people have contracted Zika after being bitten by mosquitoes in Miami’s Wynwood district. Another five were bitten by mosquitoes in other parts of South Florida where state officials say the virus is not spreading.

Here’s what local counties have received from the state for Zika prevention to date. Additional programs — such as Zika testing, Zika kits and lab services — are being run by the state government and counties do not receive money for them.

Miami-Dade: $316,800
Broward: $221,635
Palm Beach: $175,211
Hillsborough: $155,962
Pinellas: $106,036
Monroe: $26,581
Pasco: $26,581
Hernando: $5,000

[Last modified: Friday, August 12, 2016 5:43pm]


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