Burlington County plans to use some of its American Rescue Plan Act funds to compensate frontline County workers who have provided essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From the very beginning of the pandemic, our County has done everything possible to help our residents overcome the challenges of COVID-19. We distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies, launched testing and vaccine clinics and delivered services that people needed throughout the pandemic,” Burlington County Commissioner Director Dan O’Connell said. “None of it could have happened without these dedicated employees who faced substantial risks while working during the pandemic. They stepped up at a time of great uncertainty and delivered essential services and resources that others continue to rely upon.”
The Commissioners approved a plan to provide retroactive premium pay for county workers employed during the pandemic. County Commissioners and department heads are not eligible.
Up to $5 million of the County’s American Rescue Plan Act funds are expected to be distributed as part of the payment plan. No county tax dollars are being used.
“It’s a responsible plan that is both capped and designed to support those workers who were on the frontlines during the pandemic and worked with the public or performed other essential tasks and services that our residents needed,” O’Connell said. “It’s compensation these workers deserve and earned, and distributing it is another way to aid them and their families during this period of recovery.”
Burlington County is also preparing to use federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to extend several of its COVID-19 programs, including its testing and vaccination programs and its food insecurity events.
More than 81,000 people have undergone COVID-19 tests through the County’s testing program and more than 500,000 doses of vaccine have been administered by the County and its partners.
More than 17,000 residents have also received aid from the County’s monthly food distribution events since the County launched the program in the spring of 2020.
“Burlington County has been a leader in responding to the pandemic and we continue to make help and resources available to our residents,” said Commissioner Felicia Hopson, the Board’s liaison to the County Health Department and Department of Human Services. “We’re proud of our response and we know our employees are the ones responsible for implementing it. Providing them this compensation is the right thing to do for them and for our residents who have depended on these workers and these services.”