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Dubuque City Council members voted unanimously this week to approve a request to set aside nearly $330,000 in federal funding to support the community’s response to COVID-19.

Council members signed off on a recommendation from the city’s Community Development Advisory Commission to use federal grant funds received by the city to aid low- to moderate-income residents be put toward an emergency shelter if one is needed to quarantine at-risk populations in Dubuque.

The funding will be set aside for temporary shelter needs for the homeless or doubled-up families in the event they need to be quarantined or separated from a group setting, according to city Housing and Community Development Director Alexis Steger.

“This is not a current need; however, the large census shelters do not have the correct areas/facilities to quarantine individuals or families,” Steger wrote in a memo to the City Council.

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The funding also would cover the cost of providing temporary drive-thru diagnostic testing, should the need arise.

Currently, the city does not have the capability for such testing, “but we need to be prepared, and we are planning for what sites those would be,” Steger said previously.

The allocations still require federal approval. The city then would draw from the federal funding as needed.

Unused funds would revert back to supporting nonprofit programs and community projects that aid low- to moderate- income and at-risk populations in Dubuque.