Perdue said the funding from the Provider Relief Fund would secure the same level of support for children’s hospitals as other hospitals.
“Georgia is home to some of the nation’s best children’s hospitals, and they have proven to be a real safety-net in our COVID-19 response efforts,” Perdue said in a news release.
The funding will be disbursed to the more than handful of children’s hospitals in the state. It was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Health Care Enhancement Act signed into law by President Donald Trump in March and April, respectively.
About $175 billion in relief funds have been set aside for hospitals and other health care providers by Congress through the two measures, Perdue’s office said.
“As we take steps to gradually reopen the country, these hospitals face challenges in reopening to the children who rely on them most,” Perdue said. “These critical funds will give children’s hospitals additional support so they can continue offering their patients the best possible care.”
Children account for 9 percent of COVID-19 cases in the country, the American Academy of Pediatrics said. There has been a 24 percent increase nationwide in reported child cases from July 30 through Thursday.
In Georgia, 3 percent of cases are among children.
As of Tuesday, 7,509 child cases have been reported to the Georgia Department of Public Health, and 279 children have been hospitalized. Three children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old have died from COVID-19 in Georgia.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday it would be providing an additional $1.4 billion to almost 80 children’s hospitals nationwide.
“Children’s hospitals have pitched in to our all-of-America COVID-19 response by providing backup capacity, extra supplies of PPE, and other support,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said. “Throughout the distribution of the Provider Relief Fund, we have sent these funds as quickly as we can to those who have been hardest hit by the virus, and this distribution recognizes the contributions of children’s hospitals helping to meet the challenges of this pandemic.”
Gillian Ray, a spokeswoman for the Children’s Hospital Association, said the funds were not released as of Tuesday, reserving comment until the money has been received.
The Georgia Hospital Association did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.