COVID-19 News for State and Local Leaders, 09/04/20

Welcome to our weekly roundup of articles and resources for state and local leaders creating policy to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic as well as steering the social and economic recovery for their communities. Postings below do not convey endorsement of any particular organization or opinion contained in links.

Wildfires Are First Big Test To COVID-19 Firefighter Safety Plans

As wildfires rage in California, safety concerns over COVID-19 are changing the way crews are responding. While the main concern is to combat the blazes, firefighters and local administrators are also taking measures to prevent infection, like mandatory sanitation stations, boxed meals, and small firefighter “pods.”

New Austin Public Health Plan Addresses COVID-19 Disparities in Hispanic/Latinx Community

Many health authorities are trying to combat the lopsided COVID-19 infection and death rates for people of color. In Austin, Texas, local policy makers are increasing Spanish-language resources, establishing new testing sites in Latinx communities, and working on a media campaign for Spanish language television and radio.

COVID-19 is Spurring the Digitisation Of Government

The pandemic lockdown has pushed governments to move services online, far more quickly than many were ready for. However, this digitization is cutting through bureaucracy and is welcomed by government employees and residents alike.

Behind COVID-19’s Disparities: Immigration Status, Housing, And Work

A new study from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health looks at the underlying structural issues that have contributed to the lopsided death and infection rates. Researchers identified recent immigrantion, large households, and working in the food-service industry to be main predictors of COVID-19 infections.

COVID-19 Youth Campaign Releases

Local communities are trying many different tactics to reach with members, and inform them how dangerous the novel coronavirus is — plus ways to prevent it. COVID-19 is having a devastating effect on tribal nations in the U.S, so local leaders launched an innovative social media campaign targeted at local youth and teens; six Native artists created original songs about the threat of COVID-19 and what youths can do to protect the community.

COVID-19: Checklists to Guide Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers

This “going back to school” season is unlike any other, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created a novel coronavirus safety checklist for anyone with school-aged children. Checklists are for both in-person, virtual, and hybrid education models, and suggestions include monitoring youth’s social-emotional wellbeing and understanding when and where students can eat and drink at school.

COVID-19 Lockdowns Expose the Digital Have-Nots in Rural Areas — Here’s Which Policies Can Get Them Connected

Researchers from Purdue University and Oklahoma State University studied broadband and internet access policies in rural areas to see which had the greatest impact on connectivity. They discovered that a dedicated funding program at the state level had the most positive impact.

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