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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – On Friday, $12.3 million of the Coronavirus Relief Fund was reallocated by Governor Kay Ivey to temporarily hire qualified, out-of-state travel nurses to work in Alabama hospitals.

In consultation with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris designated the nursing shortage as Alabama’s most urgent need. ADPH will work with the Alabama Hospital Association to develop a process to recruit these travel nurses.

The $12.3 million reallocation is from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds that were previously obligated but not reimbursed among the various approved expenses.

Alabama received around $1.9 billion of the federal CARES Act funding to respond to and mitigate COVID-19.

Alabama Act 2020-199 designated:

$300 million to reimburse state agencies for expenses directly related to the coronavirus outbreak;

$250 million to reimburse counties and cities for coronavirus expenses;

$250 million to deliver health care and related services to residents;

$300 to support citizens, businesses, and non-profit and faith-based organizations impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

$53 million for remote work and public access expenses incurred by state government, including the Legislature.

$300 million for technology and infrastructure expenses related to remote learning;

$200 million for reimbursement of costs to the Department of Corrections incurred because of the outbreak;

$10 million to the reimbursement of costs to ensure access to courts during the pandemic;

$5 million to reimburse the State General Fund for supplemental appropriations to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed touched on how the pandemic has created an “unprecedented need for quality nurses” across Alabama.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said, “Our nurses are forced to set aside concerns and worries about their own health as they tend to the patients who are fighting a highly contagious virus…It seems altogether fitting that Alabama is devoting a portion of its CARES Act dollars to a group that has demonstrated it cares the most.”