BCHD Receives $1.13 million from State for Pandemic Efforts

Beach Cities Health District receives money for fiscal relief due to the COVID-19 public health emergency

Valerie Lee BCHD test site

Valerie Lee of Beach Cities Health District stands ready to assist people coming for COVID-19 tests at the BCHD campus in Redondo Beach last year. (photo courtesy of BCHD).

Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) announced it received $1.13 million in funding to cover unanticipated costs and loss of revenue associated with the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funding was made available from a $100 million allocation provided by the State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom in the 2021-2022 State Budget.

“This funding from the State validates all the work and long hours put in by our team over the last two years to provide testing, vaccines, information and services to the Beach Cities community during this pandemic,” said Tom Bakaly, CEO for BCHD. “On behalf of our employees and volunteers, I would like to thank the governor and his staff for helping organizations throughout the state prioritize public health to keep our residents safe. We’re extremely grateful for this support.”

This funding arrives after special districts across California experienced budget and staff cuts necessitated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2020 and 2021, California’s special districts provided essential services to their local communities, maintained a large portion of the state’s critical infrastructure, and employed thousands of front-line workers, but initially received none of the COVID-19 relief funding available to cities and counties.

Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, BCHD has provided more than 155,000 COVID-19 tests and supported 74 vaccine clinics with more than 23,100 vaccine doses administered. BCHD continued to support the community by completing 2,616 errands for residents and delivering 4,712 meals for those who remained “safer at home” during the 2020-21 fiscal year. More than 500 BCHD volunteers participated in these service activities for Beach Cities residents.

“Special districts are addressing our biggest statewide challenges, all at the local level,” said Neil McCormick, CEO of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). We applaud Governor Newsom and our Legislature for recognizing this and responding to our requests for partnership. Special districts make a difference throughout California and this funding will make a difference in the communities special districts serve.”

Statewide, more than 2,000 independent special districts across the state serve the needs of all 40 million Californians at some level, and more than 60 percent of these local agencies provide specialized services to a disadvantaged community.

BCHD’s budgetary practices are available to the public online and the budget is reviewed by the District’s resident advisory Finance Committee and discussed at public Board meetings. An annual report with an overview is also mailed to Beach Cities households each year.