Milwaukee County mayors say more federal money needed to battle virus

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin's COVID 19 spike has local health departments scrambling for money to pay for testing and contact tracing. Federal money awarded earlier in the year dries up on New Years Eve.

The suburban communities are now seeing the highest number of COVID cases since the pandemic began back in March.

Milwaukee is tied with its July peak and expects those cases to keep climbing too.

Milwaukee, South Milwaukee, and Glendale's mayors, plus Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley all say they don't have the resources to continue testing and contact tracing in the new year if Congress fails to act.

The CARES act money shoveled billions of dollars to communities all expires at the end of the year.

The cities are coming up with budgets to double their health department spending, but don't have the resources locally without federal help.

"We would not be able to continue the response likely to the level that we would want or need to if that funding is not there, its a question of what do you cut," said South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks.

Congress has so far been unable to agree on a new stimulus deal.

The mayors said Wisconsin law also limits their ability to raise taxes.

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