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COVID-19 Money
Federal legislation was passed to assist cities and counties with recouping expenditures related to COVID-19.File photo
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State distributing federal COVID funds to North County cities

REGION — As COVID-19 ravages California’s economy and way of life, North County cities will be getting a bit of financial relief.

On July 16, the California Department of Finance approved allocating nearly $10 billion in federal funds from the CARES Act to support the state’s response to the pandemic. Of the total, about $1.8 billion of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund will be distributed to cities and counties.

Counties will receive about $1.3 billion and cities $500 million, according to the CDF.

Last week, the number of COVID-19 cases California surpassed New York for the most in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University. Cities and counties have been besieged by unforeseen expenditures due to the pandemic, which is why federal legislation was passed to assist those with recouping those costs.

“One of my top priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic is fighting to ensure local governments receive their fair share of public resources,” Sen. Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), vice-chair of the senate appropriations committee, said in a statement. “I am grateful that city and county governments in Orange and San Diego counties will receive needed funding to save lives and jobs. While more needs to be done to help local governments, the formal announcement of the $1.8 billion allocation is a welcome step in the right direction.”

The money, though, will be dispersed in phases, she said, with the first release of funds on Aug. 1 followed on Sept. 1 and October.

According to Bates, who represents Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, Vista and parts of Orange County, San Diego and Orange counties will receive more than $53 million and $73 million, respectively.

In North County, Oceanside is set to receive $2.1 million followed by Escondido ($1.8 million), Carlsbad ($1.4 million), San Marcos and Vista ($1.2 million each), Encinitas ($767,782), Solana Beach ($170,860) and Del Mar ($52,698). The money is to help offset additional costs each city has covered due to the pandemic.

Since Feb. 14, the county has 26,984 positive coronavirus cases and the region has seen a spike since June, according to the county. The county reports the region has just six days of less than 300 new COVID-19 cases since June 15.

In North County, Escondido has the most reported cases with 1,115 as of July 26. It is followed by Oceanside (874), Vista (651), San Marcos (543), Carlsbad (441), Encinitas (251), Solana Beach (41) and Del Mar (26).