MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County Health Department’s Covid-19 Stipend Program has ended as of March 31, the decision of which came as vaccine rates increase and the number of new cases has decreased.
The Stipend Program started in December 2020 with the aim of helping to slow virus transmission and address equity issues. It provided a one-time payment of $1,000 to adult residents who were Covid-19 positive and not eligible for paid sick leave or unemployment insurance to encourage them to stay home and self-isolate as directed by health professionals.
In total, the program served 1,312 individuals.
A priority of the program was to serve individuals residing in the most at-risk zip codes, which had higher case and test positivity rates than countywide averages. Areas served during the program included Salinas, South County cities, parts of Marina and Seaside as well as some areas of unincorporated Monterey County.
“The program is an example of Covid-19 response using an ‘equity lens’ to help individuals with less resources to help them to safely isolate and slow the spread of the disease,” said Elsa Jimenez, Monterey County Director of Health Services. “Targeted programs such as this have been an important part of the pandemic response.”
The program was made possible through federal Covid-19 response funds allocated by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and by a partnership between Monterey County’s Health Department and Social Services, United Way Monterey County and community health centers located in the at-risk areas.
While the Stipend Program has ended, those who test positive for Covid-19 and need assistance can call 2-1-1 to be directed to other available resources.