​CARES Act Funding and the Coronavirus Relief Fund FAQS


When was the CARES Act and Coronavirus Relief Fund established?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was established on March 27, 2020, and with it the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund. 

What expenses are eligible for the Coronavirus Relief Fund?

The Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) only be used to cover expenses that:

  1. Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
  2. Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
  3. Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020. 

Visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury's CARES Act Fund webpage for State, Local and Tribal Governments

What kind of expenses does the CRF cover for Sacramento County?

The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) provides an opportunity to cover the costs of the County's significant efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. 

What is Sacramento County's share of the Coronavirus Relief Fund?

Local governments (such as counties and cities) with populations in excess of 500,000 received payment amounts. Sacramento County received $181 million from the CRF. 

Why does the County need funds from the CRF?

The Board of Supervisors declared a Local and Public Health Emergency on March 19, 2020. County operations shifted significantly to focus on the response to and meet the critical Public Health needs of the pandemic. 

How is the County able to access the CRF?

On April 21, 2020, the Board of Supervisors authorized the County Executive to apply for, accept and draw down funding from Federal and State Governments related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Who decides how the CRF money is spent?

The County Executive established the Coronavirus Relief Fund Committee to review and recommend fund payment expenditures to County Departments. 

Who is on the Coronavirus Relief Fund Committee?

The CRF Committee consists of:

  • Chief, Office of Emergency Services (Chair)
  • Deputy County Executive, Social Services
  • Deputy County Executive, Administrative Services
  • Deputy County Executive, Public Works and Infrastructure
  • Chief Fiscal Officer
  • Director of Finance
  • Director of Personnel Services 

How does the Coronavirus Relief Fund Committee determine the use of the funds?

The CRF Committee requests that all departments identify expenses related to combating the coronavirus, and the Committee approves expenditures that meet the requirements of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

How much money have departments requested from the fund?

To date, departments have requested approximately $350 million for CRF.

Were all department requests approved?

The Committee approved expenditures that were eligible for CRF funding but did not approve funding for items that would be eligible for other State and Federal funds.

Interim Report on Costs Incurred Through CRF Proceeds

​What's the Interim Report on CRF Proceeds?

The U.S. Treasury required all CRF recipients to submit an interim report by July 17 of all costs incurred for the period March 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2020. 

What is included in the Interim Report?

The County's costs for each of the spending categories determined by the Treasury. The categories include:

  • ​Transferred to Other Governments
  • Payroll for Public Health and Safety Employees
  • Budgeted Personnel and Services Diverted to a Substantially Different Use
  • Improvements to Telework Capabilities of Public Employees
  • Medical Expenses
  • Public Health Expenses
  • Distance Learning
  • Economic Support
  • Expenses Associated with the Issuance of Tax Anticipation Notes
  • All Items Not Listed Above

Does the Interim Report list the total amounts for each category as well as specific costs in each category?

The Interim Report only lists the total amount for each category. The County has provided a breakdown of specific costs in each category on its CARES Act Funding webpage. 

Is the County going to submit a more detailed report to the U.S. Treasury?

Yes. The U.S. Treasury has asked local governments to submit the first detailed quarterly report by September 21, 2020. 

Is there an outside entity that's ensuring the CRF money is used for its intended purpose?

Yes. All CRF payments will be subject to the Single Audit Act. What that means is that every fiscal year, the County is audited for all grants received from the federal government by external auditors.