Weekly COVID-19 News for State and Local Leaders

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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.

July 29, 2020

Phoenix Weaving Together New Local Food System Amid a Pandemic

Bringing together local farmers, local restaurants, and local food.

It’s Time For Civic Innovators To Document Their COVID Work

Now it’s time for civic innovators to catch their breath and take stock of all they’ve achieved — and how it’s moved their cities forward.

How to Test More People for Coronavirus Without Actually Needing More Tests

Pooled testing, which can make one coronavirus test as powerful as five, is particularly useful when the infection rate is low. Its use could free up more tests for places where the virus is more widespread.

Searing Heat Will Make COVID-19 Racial Disparities Worse

Urban heat islands can be 22 degrees hotter than their surroundings.

Bill Calls for National Database to Track Evictions

The Housing and Urban Development Department would be required to set up and secure a new, central resource.

As Moratoriums End and Bills Come Due, Cities Offer Utility Relief

Many residents are struggling to pay utility bills during the pandemic, dealing with escalating balances. But local relief programs aren’t designed to help everybody.

Google Is Letting Employees Work From Home Until Next July

Alphabet Inc.’s Google will let employees work from home until July 2021, once again pushing back the re-opening of its offices as the coronavirus continues to rage in many parts of the U.S.

The Virus Found a Crowded Houston Neighborhood, Sparing One Nearby

Two adjacent communities underscore the starkly divergent ways in which the coronavirus outbreak in Texas has attacked daily life.

July 22, 2020

State Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Reimburse Restaurants for Costs of Stalled Reopening

Legislation before the New Jersey legislature would use federal coronavirus relief funds to reimburse restaurants, caterers and bars for preparations to resume in-person dining before it was canceled by the governor.

Social Distancing Is Making Public Transport Worse For The Environment Than Cars — Here’s How To Fix It

Without plastic shielding between seats or more efficient engines, the environmental benefits of public transport are lost.

The Pandemic Has Pushed Aside City Planning Rules. But to Whose Benefit?

As bike lanes and cafes sprout on streets, marginalized residents wonder when their priorities will get attention.

As Schools Reopen, How Can Pupils Make Up For Lost Time?

The hard-up find it hardest

How One City Went Virtual In 30 Days

The southern California city of El Cajon moved to paperless permitting in just under a month, a project that had originally been expected to take a year.

Did Ithaca Really Cancel Rent?

Residents successfully pressured the city to request the state to cancel rent for Ithaca residents. What lessons can be learned from local organizers?

The Latin American Country Beating Covid-19 (Podcast)

Uruguay may be best known for beaches and beef. But the country has seen just 1,000 or so cases since the pandemic began, and only 33 deaths. may have as much to do with its policies from years past, as its present day virus response.

National Response Portal Enables Hospital Data Sharing To Combat Coronavirus

Several large U.S. healthcare systems have teamed with Google and SADA to establish an open data platform to provide hospitals and government officials granular views of ICU and ventilator utilization at the local level.

Cities Rethink How to Cope with Extreme Heat During Covid-19 Outbreaks

Cities are enforcing capacity restrictions at cooling centers and offering free air conditioners as a way to beat the heat.

Pandemic Threatens Black Middle-Class Gains

The number of Black-owned small businesses dropped 41% between February and April.

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