DOF Issues November Fiscal Update on COVID-19 Expenditures

Late last week, the California Department of Finance (DOF) issued a November fiscal update detailing expenditures associated with the state’s COVID-19 direct response activities. DOF estimates the combined total costs across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years to be approximately $9.8 billion, with an estimated net General Fund impact of approximately $1.3 billion. In the last DOF update in August 2020, total costs were estimated at $7.4 billion with a $1.7 billion net General Fund impact. Compared to November, General Fund impact decreased as the Coronavirus Relief Fund and other federal funds are being used to offset a greater share of these costs, consistent with the 2020 Budget Act.

DOF indicates that cost increases reflected in the November fiscal update are largely due to the standing up of the state’s Valencia Regional Laboratory, updates and amendments to existing testing contracts for specimen collection associated with the state’s new laboratory, and a public awareness and community outreach campaign. DOF’s update provides total expenditure cost estimates by category, including state response operations, procurements, and statewide testing and contact tracing.

The full DOF report is available here.