A California county has approved a pilot program that will provide residents who test positive for coronavirus a stipend of $1,250 to stay at home.
Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors has set aside $10m for the program, which will enable it to provide payments to 7,500 people in the area.
The board said they made the decision after they found that many residents were concerned about how they would pay for food, rent and other essential bills if they tested positive and could not work.
Vanessa Cedeño, the board’s policy director, told Fox News that “many of them just could not afford to lose two weeks worth of wages to quarantine and isolate”. “If people are afraid to get tested or they cannot isolate safely when they’re Covid positive, then our efforts to contain the virus are not going to be as successful.”
The program, which was unanimously approved by the board, was announced after Alameda County recorded a new daily coronavirus case total on Wednesday, as California continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic. California has recorded more than 533,000 Covid-19 cases, as at least 9,866 people have died after contracting the virus since the pandemic began, while Alameda County has seen at least 12,161 confirmed cases and 193 deaths.
Alameda County residents need to be referred by a designated clinic in an area classed as high-risk, must also have tested positive for coronavirus and cannot be receiving paid sick leave or unemployment benefits.
“Most people that test positive are usually the members that are out there working and able to do that,” Ms Schwab-Galindo added. “You know, they are construction workers, they are grocery workers, so they are more exposed compared to some of the other family members they are trying to support, including their children.”
In the US as a whole, some 4.8 million people have tested positive for coronavirus. The death toll has reached at least 160,111.
I think $1,250 will encourage people to stay home and get well. It will also slow down spreading the virus so this program is a huge help.