Instead, the state’s Department of Health Services is telling local and municipal governments to pay for additional hospital staff from their federal COVID-19 relief funding.
Dallas-Fort Worth hospital board chairman Stephen Love has said in previous surges that state support for additional staff is “much appreciated and very helpful.”
But help for temporary staff is not coming in the latest wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Dallas County confirmed it received a letter urging local governments to try to secure additional federal funding for hospitals instead.
“Our current increase in COVID-19 patient volume requires additional staff as it worked so well before, we hope they will reconsider helping hospitals as local municipalities using federal funding could be a somewhat confusing process,” Love said.
According to state documents, Dallas and Tarrant counties have received $ 512 billion and $ 408 billion in federal funding for COVID-19 assistance, respectively. Texas cities and counties received a total of $ 9.04 trillion.
According to a letter sent by the Texas Emergency Management Division to Dallas County, of the $ 9.04 trillion in funding, $ 5.7 billion was sent to Texas counties and $ 3.4 billion was sent to cities in Texas for help with funding hospitals.
This funding was intended to help fund hospitals, including paying premiums for essential workers and to fund COVID-19 mitigation efforts and “certain public health and safety personnel.”
Local leaders who manage these funds have already accounted for the bulk of the money and did not expect the state to withhold funding for additional COVID-19 emergency personnel.
For example, Dallas County’s current plan for the use of its $ 512 billion does not include funding for additional hospital staff, but does include funding for rent assistance and other programs.
According to a July 23 CDC report, 96 of Texas’ 467 hospitals are reporting a staffing shortage.