The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will give $3.7 million to a Seattle-area public health agency; several local foundations; homeless service providers; and more in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The funding is part of a previously announced $5 million commitment to the Seattle region. The foundation will provide $1 million to Public Health — Seattle & King County, “to help the agency disseminate timely and accurate information,” as well as set up temporary housing or services for non-severe patients and people experiencing homelessness.
It will also donate to six regional COVID-19 response funds, including the Seattle Foundation fund, which received $1 million from the Gates Foundation and another $500,000 from Pivotal Ventures, the investment company run by Melinda Gates.
“The pandemic feels like a universal experience, but we have to recognize that not all of us will experience it equally,” Gates said in a statement. “By supporting local community response efforts, we can help make sure that, in this moment of crisis, we’re not leaving the most vulnerable behind.”
The foundation is also supporting the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network, or SCAN, a surveillance platform for COVID-19 that uses at-home testing kits. Gates Ventures, the private office of Bill Gates, is helping fund the SCAN initiative.
Last month the foundation said it would spend up to $100 million to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 420,000 people and killed nearly 19,000 worldwide. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Seattle and King County rose 9% in the past day to 1,277, including 94 deaths.
The foundation is also teaming up with Wellcome and Mastercard for the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a $125 million effort to help find potential treatments for the coronavirus epidemic and future threats.