On January 13, 2022, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen announced that 325 healthcare providers in the State of Nevada will receive $25.9 million from the federal government to help their operations in rural communities. The funding is granted through the American Rescue Plan that Rosen helped approve last year.

The monies will be passed on to rural healthcare providers that support patients on Medicaid, Medicare, and those that are a part of CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). Healthcare facilities in rural areas often have limited supplies and funding, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these problems.

Mt. Grant General Hospital Administrator Hugh Qualls says that he was aware of these funds when the bill passed last year, but the hospital hasn’t received any of the money yet. It is hoping that it will procure the $250,000 allocation sometime this month.

“These various distributions (funds received through the Cares Act and American Rescue Plan) helped us survive during the pandemic and I know that it’s not just helping smaller hospitals like us but larger ones, too,” Qualls says. He explains that these federal funds are used for various things to help prepare MGGH for the next level of covid and staff support. “This new funding will deliver critical resources to hundreds of health care providers across our state and will help improve access to quality, reliable care for Nevada families living in rural areas,” Senator Rosen issued in a statement released on her website. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, health care providers in rural and other underserved communities across our state will have more resources to serve Nevadans as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Qualls says that covid is spreading rapidly throughout the community and every day people coming into the ER are testing positive for the virus.

“We’re back to where we are a year and a half ago and have a lot of employees out sick,” he says. Qualls adds that fortunately the symptoms for the omicron variant aren’t as bad, but there have been some severe cases.

“Get your booster, wash your hands, wear a mask…the rules [for surviving covid] still apply,” Qualls says.

At the Mineral County Commissioners meeting held on January 19, the Commissioners discussed Mineral County’s COVID-19 response plan followed by a review of current covid testing, vaccination, and treatment.