Research Alert: May 11, 2023

Distribution of Direct Care Workforce COVID-19 Funding Between Rural and Urban Counties in Minnesota and Illinois

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and state governments have allocated several iterations of funding to support the health care industry. The first main source of funding support at the start of the pandemic was the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities Act of 2020 (CARES Act 2020). This funding aimed to assist with the public health response and mitigate the economic impact of the virus on organizations and their workforce. In this policy brief, researchers highlight differences between Minnesota and Illinois in CARES Act funding for the direct care workforce and prioritization of funding toward rural counties.

Key Findings:

  • There are state-by-state variations in how COVID-19 relief funding, like the CARES Act, supports direct care workers. Direct care workers include personal care aides, home health aides, and nursing assistants.
  • Funding allocation was proportionately distributed to rural and urban areas in Minnesota and Illinois; however, the distribution does not necessarily take into account population health needs and challenges faced by the direct care workforce in rural areas.
Contact Information:

Katie Rydberg, MPH
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 612.626.8401

Additional Resources of Interest: