Constantine submits $87M emergency COVID-19 budget for testing, housing, childcare

Includes drive-thru testing sites in South County

Dow Constantine

Dow Constantine

King County Executive Dow Constantine on Thursday transmitted an emergency supplemental budget of $87 million to the County Council to fund new test sites, housing and arts organizations.

It marks the fourth emergency supplemental budget Constantine has transmitted since the COVID-19 outbreak in March. The funds are for investments to help in the health and economy recovery of King County.

“Our COVID-19 response and recovery efforts continue and, as always, we place special emphasis on helping the most vulnerable stay safe,” Constantine said in a King County Executive Office news release. “This supplemental budget illustrates the breadth of our responsibilities, from new walk-up testing sites, to adding plexi-glass and other safety protections to courtrooms, to ensuring arts organizations can continue to enrich our community once the danger has passed.”

Included in the budget is $11 million for at least two drive-through/walk-up testing sites in South and East King County that can provide 500 to 1,000 tests per day. Public Health – Seattle & King County will also partner with Community Health Centers to add testing sites capable of 200 to 500 per day in various locations for currently underserved communities.

Other highlights of the proposal now before the King County Council include:

• Continues to fund isolation/quarantine and recovery centers through the end of the year: $12.6 million.

• Funds the public health response through the end of the year: $29 million.

• Continues to fund hotel vouchers for the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness through the end of the year: $2.5 million.

• Provides funding for an outreach and compliance initiative to help restaurants, bars and taverns increase compliance with the governor’s safe start orders: $2.7 million.

• Funds operating costs to get the courts up and running, including using the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, for civil trials only: $1.8 million.

• Provides funding to support arts organizations: $2 million.

• Provides funding for emergency childcare: $3 million.

Revenues sources include contributions from the state and the federal CARES Act.

Constantine previously submitted emergency supplemental budgets in March and May, which were later passed by the council.

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