Sen. John Cornyn visits Wichita Falls, discusses possible future coronavirus relief bill

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Texas Sen. John Cornyn toured the Community Healthcare Center where he discussed the future of the next coronavirus relief bill and also how the CARES Act has helped Wichita Falls.

Wichita Falls mayor Stephen Santellana and other local officials spoke after Cornyn thanking him for his leadership and helping fund the community.

“105,000 citizens here in Wichita Falls, I want to say we all thank you for your leadership because of that indirect impact,” Santellana said.

“The aid was the right amount for the right needs at the right time,” Midwestern State University president Suzanne Shipley said.

The CARES Act brought $35 million in funding to the Wichita Falls area. After touring the CHC, representatives of multiple entities in Wichita Falls gave a thank you to Sen. Cornyn for bringing funds to a city that desperately needed them.

“Senator, you’ll see the numbers and you’ve spouted out how many billions of dollars we’ve received here. It’s hard to really quantify the indirect impact in the community and the people that come up and thank us for the leadership that you’ve presented which everybody else has,” Santellana said.

The city of Wichita Falls has received more than $10 million in funding that was used to pay city employees and help residents with rent needs.

United Regional Health Care System received $12.5 million to help with PPE supplies and COVID testing. Sen. Cornyn is glad to see the CARES Act funding be put to good use.

“We felt it was important to respond in a big and bold and hopefully effective,” Sen. Cornyn said.

With the CARES Act passing in March, many are wondering when the next stimulus package will be.

Sen. Cornyn said the house of representatives is currently working on a bill for the U.S. postal service but another coronavirus relief bill could be on the way.

“Once that comes to the Senate, the majority leader will add other items that are literally consensus items to that and we’ll try to get that passed and send it back to the house,” Sen. Cornyn said.

As the city of Wichita Falls continues to battle COVID-19, Sen. Cornyn said he will continue to fight for funding for the area.

Here is the full list of where CARES Act funding went to throughout the city.

  • North Central Texas Area Community Health Care Center: $5,059,551
    • Administered nearly 1,800 COVID tests 
    • Procured 3 – 6 months of PPE supplies
    • Continued to pay the nearly 100 employees who would have otherwise been furloughed or laid off
    • Moved forward with opening two local school-based clinics
  • United Regional Health Care System$12.5 million.
    • Treated 172 COVID-19 patients and 584 more presumptive but ultimately negative patients
    • Processed 11,802 COVID-19 tests, and built multiple tented testing sites
    • Procured additional PPE
    • Maintained payroll for all 2,200 hospital staff 
  • Midwestern State University (MSU)$4,629,148. 
    • Supported 3,429 students (62% of student body) with CARES Act Emergency Student Aid
    • Acquired elevated cleaning equipment and PPE
    • Reimbursed $1.7 million to students for housing and dining costs
    • Purchased computer equipment, licenses, and technology for flexible learning
  • City of Wichita Falls – Neighborhood Services Division: $733,264
    • Served 77,262 targeted at-risk residents
    • Assisted with rent, utility, and transportation needs
    • Food for more than 74,000 food insecure individuals
    • Sanitation supplies and services for domestic abuse shelters
  • Wichita Falls Transit System – FallsRide: $4,552,789
  • Wichita Falls Regional Airport: $1,225,460
  • City of Wichita Falls: $5,849,910
    • PPE, including gloves, masks, coveralls, sneeze guards, face shields
    • Health supplies, including thermometers and sanitizer stations
    • Protective equipment for firefighters
    • Salaries of city employees

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