Controller Ron Galperin Wednesday unveiled an interactive, online COVID-19 Spending Tracker, which shows expenditures by Los Angeles in response to the pandemic.
From March through the end of November, Los Angeles departments reported spending a total of $326 million, mostly on equipment, testing, staffing, rental assistance and overtime pay, Galperin stated.
“The city of Los Angeles was compelled to step outside its comfort zone and perform COVID-19 response work once the pandemic spread to Southern California in mid-March,” Galperin said.
“That meant incurring hundreds of millions of dollars in unforeseen expenses to provide critical services and support residents in need. Accurately tracking COVID-19 spending not only ensures that the city has a holistic picture of pandemic-related costs, but also helps the public understand what their local government is prioritizing during the crisis.”
Ian Thompson, a spokesman for Galperin, told City News Service that the total amount shown is what has been spent, not necessarily all the money that has been allocated by the City Council. He also said the data in the tracker will be updated every two weeks.
All tracker data reported Wednesday is current through Nov. 30, except where expressly noted, Galperin stated.
The tracker provides a visual tally of city spending during the crisis overall and allows users to explore costs by department and filter expenditures by month.
As reported in the tracker, the department with the most COVID-19 expenditures is General Services, with $100 million overall. That department is tasked with purchasing goods and equipment for Los Angeles and its programs.
The city’s COVID-19 spending of $326 million includes $203 million in costs for testing.
The highest monthly costs were in November as the city put $57 million toward the effort to combat the virus.
Most of the money allocated to the city is from the federal CARES Act. Of the $745 million that was allocated to Los Angeles, some is from the state funding and some is from the city’s general fund, most of which is eligible for reimbursement, Galperin stated.
The COVID-19 Spending Tracker can be found at lacontroller.org/covidspending.
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