Coronavirus Response Resources for Local Leaders
Local elected officials are distinctly positioned to protect the health and safety of residents and to provide reassurance in times of crisis. The National League of Cities developed this resource page and a Pandemic Response series to support cities, towns and villages during the COVID-19 outbreak and to take measures to reduce its spread. NLC will update this page as information becomes available.
As municipalities are responding to the Coronavirus, they must:
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! – Provide clear, accurate, reliable information to the public. Elected leaders can set a tone of transparency, compassion and reassurance, and bring in public health experts to provide broader context and deeper guidance. Local officials can assure the public that each person has a role to play to protect themselves, their families and their community.
Coordinate, Coordinate, Coordinate! – Ensure efforts are underway across all city agencies to prepare and respond. Coordinate with county, state and federal government on emergency authority and response. Work with business and non-profit partners in the community to get employers, employees, residents and communities to follow everyday health practices to prevent spread, as well as to leverage public-private capacities for the wider community.
Establish relationships and clarify roles with local health departments and healthcare facilities around pandemic flu plans and activation of emergency response. Identify specific people to communicate with, and the role of a Preparedness Coordinator or designee for emergency response.
Clarify legal authority to declare emergency – Understand the Scope of Authority local executives have surrounding public health response plans and collaborate with the health department to implement the plan. Clarify authority if your city has both city and county health departments. When states declare an emergency, clarify potential release of funding and resources that may be indicated, including closing schools or prohibiting public gatherings.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Find information and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) here: Latest Resources and Updates from WHO, including their Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation dashboard.
NLC is committed to providing local leaders with the necessary tools and resources to ensure cities, towns and villages are well equipped to navigate the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). NLC has launched a COVID-19 Pandemic Response series. In it, you will find federal policy updates, resources and best practices you can implement in your community. By working together, we can take steps to secure the health and well-being of cities, towns, and villages across America.
- COVID-19: Local Action Tracker in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies
- COVID-19 Pandemic Response One-Pager
- COVID-19 Infographic
- Morning Consult Survey Results
CitiesSpeak Blog Posts:
- Managing Through the Coronavirus: What Local Leaders Need to Know
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Spearheads Conversations at CCC
- National League of Cities Responds to COVID-19
- Prioritize Equity in COVID-19 Response
- How Connectivity Can Save Lives During COVID-19
- Seeking FEMA Assistance to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Communication with Federal Leaders:
- Take Action on NLC's Requests for COVID-19 Emergency Supplemental Funding
- Take Action on Senate Legislation for Local COVID-19 Funds
- 3/17: Letter to Congressional Leaders
- 3/19: Letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
- 3/19: Letter to Congressional Leaders
- 3/20: Letter to President on Regulation
- Take Action on NLC Request for COVID-19 funding in the CARES Act
- 3/24: Letter to Congressional Leaders
- 3/26: Letter to Congressional Leaders
News & Press Releases:
- White House Hosts Local Leaders to Discuss Coronavirus Public Health Emergency
- Local Leaders Respond to Declaration of Coronavirus National Emergency
- NLC President Joe Buscaino Talks Partnership and Congressional Action on COVID-19
Congressional City Conference 2020:
- Situational Report on the 2019 Coronavirus Outbreak | Dr. Oscar Alleyne Chief Program Officer National Association of County and City Health Officials
- Remarks by Dr. Mitchell Wolfe, Chief Medical Officer, Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Private Organization Announcement: Bloomberg Philanthropies Coronavirus Local Response Initiative
Mass closures of businesses and organizations due to Coronavirus can affect early childcare providers’ survival as small businesses. Parents who cannot work remotely have acute need for childcare services. Critical personnel in this time of crisis include healthcare and public health workers; grocery store employees; police, fire and other emergency response workers and right now, they are working even more extended hours. These crucial workers require quality, reliable care for their children. Additionally, many workers who keep essential stores and retail establishments open are among the lowest paid and cannot afford to lose days of work due to lack of childcare.
Municipal leaders can support childcare providers and the workers who depend on them by:
- Prioritizing childcare slots for first responders.
- Supporting providers with resources to keep their employees and the children in their care safe.
- Connecting childcare providers to small business and income supports.
- Childcare Aware of America - Coronavirus Resources for Child Care Professionals, Families and Policymakers
- Urban Institute - Policies, Practices and Resources for Child Care and Early Education Providers Amid the Coronavirus Crisis.
- Child Care and Preschool Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
- Preparing Child Care Programs for Pandemic Influenza
Social distancing has caused businesses to close or curtail their services to slow the spread of COVID-19. Employees of non-essential services, such as restaurants and retail stores, in turn are losing their jobs or experiencing a drastic reduction in pay. These employees are already straining to make ends meet because they are more likely to earn hourly wages and lack benefits such as healthcare or paid sick leave.
Before this pandemic, 40% of Americans could not cover a $400 emergency. Pay cuts and job losses without a social safety net will hinder residents from taking the necessary precautions, including staying home when sick or even purchasing extra groceries. Meanwhile, bills continue to pile up. When an employer closes its doors, leaving employees without a paycheck, the financial and social burden falls disproportionately on single parent households and people of color, who are more likely to earn hourly wages.
City leaders can take steps to prevent further financial instability for families during this unprecedented time.
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave
- Tax-Related Provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Frequently Ask Questions about HR 6201 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
Bill #3 - The CARES Act
Find information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The most up-to-date information and guidance can be found via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website. The Coronavirus Task Force holds frequent national briefings which can be viewed live.
How to Report COVID-19 Cases? CDC released information for state health departments on how to report COVID-19 cases to better track the impact of the outbreak and public health response.
What is the Latest Information for Individuals, Especially Those At-Risk and Older Individuals? CDC released a self-checker that helps users make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. This system is not intended for diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19 or other diseases but can advise on next steps. CDC has updated their webpage that identifies the high risk populations including adults older than 65, residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities, individuals with high risk conditions (asthma, heart disease or immunocompromised individuals), and monitoring for people who are pregnant. CDC has also released additional information for older adults as well. Additional guidance was released for local and state health departments, homelessness service systems, housing authorities, healthcare facilities and others on responding to COVID-19 among people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.
- Confirmed and Presumptive Cases in the US
- Resources for Health Departments
- Resources for First Responders
- Preparing Communities for Potential Spread of COVID-19
- COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
- Interim Guidance: Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Interim Guidance: Get Your Community- and Faith-Based Organizations Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities including guidance for homes, schools, and workplaces
Up to Date Resources:
- What You Should Know
- Travel Information
- Higher Risk & Special Populations
- Healthcare Professionals
- Resources for Healthcare Facilities
- Resources for Health Departments
- Communication Resources
Infographics and Downloads:
On March 13th, President Trump signed a National Emergency Declaration in response to COVID-19. The Emergency Declaration will allow HHS to provide emergency funding to state and local entities (up to $50 billion) and specifically will enable HHS to waive provisions of certain laws and regulations to provide increased flexibility to healthcare providers. Additional flexibilities will be able to be exercised around the use of telehealth, state licensing requirements for providers to practice in areas of greatest need, increasing the supply of providers, loosening restrictions on where hospitals can care for patients within a hospital, and flexibilities on the number of beds and lengths of stay for Critical Access Hospitals.
- The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread
- March 12th White House COVID-19 Briefing Call with State and Local Leaders
- CMS Takes Action Nationwide to Aggressively Respond to Coronavirus National Emergency
- COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Fact Sheet
- Actions for All Americans
- A Framework for Mitigation: Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission (frame work for States, localities, and communities)
- 15 Days to Slow the Spread
CMS Updates FAQs for Medicaid and CHIP: CMS released updated FAQs that address issues raised by states over the prior few days. The document includes answers to questions related to the flexibilities CMS is affording to states in managed care, benefits, financing, 1115 demonstrations, and leveraging “1135” waivers offered as part of the President’s declaration of a national emergency. States may submit questions to CMS through their state leads. The FAQs can be found here.
- HHS Announces Grants to Provide Meals for Older Adults
- Office of Management and Budget updated guidance on telework flexibilities
- CDC to Award Over $560 Million to State & Local Jurisdictions in Support of COVID-19 Response
- Task Force Briefings (briefings are held on a frequent basis and can be viewed live here)
- President Trump Signs the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (March 6) (transcript | video)
- President Trump and Vice President Pence attend Coronavirus Briefing with Airline CEOs (March 4) (transcript | video)
- Vice President Pence meets with Long-Term, Post-Acute and Palliative Care Provider Executives (March 4) (transcript)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Announces Actions to Address Spread of Coronavirus (March 4) (more here)
- President Trump Visits the National Institutes of Health and attends Roundtable Briefing (March 3) (transcript)
- Vice President Pence attends Coronavirus Briefing with Diagnostic Lab CEOs (March 4) (transcript | video)
- National Governors Association
- National Conference of State Legislatures
- United States Conference of Mayors
- National Association of Counties
- International City/County Management Association
- City Health
- International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
- Johnson Controls
- Polco (National Research Center)
- Tyler Technologies
- Wells Fargo
- Alabama League of Municipalities
- Alaska Municipal League
- Arkansas Municipal League
- League of Arizona Cities and Towns
- League of California Cities
- Colorado Municipal League
- Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
- Florida League of Cities
- Georgia Municipal Association
- Illinois Municipal League
- Accelerate Indiana Municipalities
- Association of Idaho Cities
- Iowa League of Cities
- League of Kansas Municipalities
- Kentucky League of Cities
- Louisiana Municipal Association
- Maine Municipal Association
- Maryland Municipal League
- Massachusetts Municipal Association
- Michigan Municipal League
- Montana League of Cities and Towns
- League of Minnesota Cities
- Mississippi Municipal League
- Missouri Municipal League
- League of Nebraska Municipalities
- New Hampshire Municipal Association
- New Jersey State League of Municipalities
- New Mexico Municipal League
- New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials
- North Carolina League of Municipalities
- North Dakota League of Cities
- Ohio Municipal League
- Oklahoma Municipal League
- League of Oregon Cities
- Pennsylvania Municipal League
- Municipal Association of South Carolina
- South Dakota Municipal League
- Tennessee Municipal League
- Texas Municipal League
- Utah League of Cities and Towns
- Vermont League of Cities and Towns
- Virginia Municipal League
- Association of Washington Cities
- West Virginia Municipal League
- League of Wisconsin Municipalities
- Wyoming Association of Municipalities
Barnes & Thornburg
The Network for Public Health Law
- Emergency Legal Preparedness: COVID-19
- Legal Liability Protections for Emergency Medical/Public Health Responses
The Policy Surveillance Program
National Conference of State Legislatures
Food Research and Action Center
Helping Families Access Telehealth, Remote Work and Online Education
- The Federal Communications Commission has secured a voluntary commitment from a large number of internet service providers (ISPs) for the next 60 days. The “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” asks that companies not terminate service for residential or small business customers, waive any late fees incurred due to the economic effects of the virus, and open access to public Wi-Fi hotspots to “any American who needs them.” Cities should check if their local-area providers are on the list of pledged companies and remain in contact with them about these commitments and any additional ones they can make.
- In addition to this pledge, AT&T has announced that it will temporarily lift data caps, and Comcast has increased the speed limit on its Internet Essentials program for low-income households and will waive connection fees for that program for two months for new subscribers.
Housing & Homelessness
- The Federal Housing Finance Agency
- National Alliance to End Homelessness: Congress should provide $5 billion to state and local homeless systems to protect homeless people from COVID-19
- Fannie Mae: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Help
- Freddie Mac: Extending Help to Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19
School & Education
U.S. Department of Agriculture
- FNS Program Guidance on Human Pandemic Response
- Secretary Perdue Announces Proactive Flexibilities to Feed Children When Schools Close
- UDSA has extended the deadlines for its ReConnect broadband loan/grant program applications to March 30.
- USDA and DOL Announce Information Sharing to Assist H-2A Employers
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency
- FEMA has simplified the Public Assistance application process for the COVID-19 national emergency declaration. Applicants for Public Assistance can now go online to complete a simplified form. They will be asked to explain work activities, answer basic questions, provide limited supporting documentation, and provide a cost estimate. FEMA will review the information with the recipient, follow up with limited requests for additional information if necessary, and award assistance. Recipients will have access to all projects in PA Grants Portal, consistent with the traditional PA process. Click here to learn more about the simplified application process or go to the PA Grants Portal to submit an application process.
- Rumor Control
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Eligible Emergency Protective Measures
- 3/24 Advisory Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Response
FDA FAQs on Food Safety
- FDA provided additional resources to industry members and consumers on COVID-19 and food safety. The FAQs can be found here.
U.S. Department of Labor
- New Guidance on Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities
- For Workers and Employers: This list on the DOL website includes topics such as workplace safety, wages, hours, leave, and information for injured federal workers.
- For Issues around Accommodations and Civil Rights Protections: The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers guidance on accommodations and the Coronavirus, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides information on the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and Coronavirus.
- Providing Expanded Family and Medical Leave and Paid Sick Leave to Employees Affected by COVID-19 National Online Dialogue
- Employee Rights
Phase 1 of Vaccine Trial
- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health announced that a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against COVID-19 has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, funded by NIH. More information can be found here.
- National Response Framework Emergency Support Function #8 (the role of federal agencies during a pandemic)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of Education
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- U.S. Department of Labor
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Department of the Interior
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
- Internal Revenue Service
- U.S. Census Bureau
- Federal Transit Administration
- Federal Communication Commission
Testing Swab Manufacturers
26055 Jefferson Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562
Becton, Dickinson and Company
1 Becton Drive Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417-1880
Thermo Fisher Scientific
168 Third Avenue | Waltham, MA 02451
American Public Transportation Association
Center for American Progress
- State and Local Governments Must Take Much More Aggressive Action Immediately To Slow Spread of the Coronavirus
The Local Solutions Support Center
- How Do You Know if Your Local Government Has the Legal Authority to Adopt a Policy in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Mayors Innovation Project
The Municipal Research and Services Center
The National Association of County Health Officials
- Federal Advocacy Update
- Federal Advocacy