Be sure to not miss the next learning and coaching session of Coronavirus Local Response Initiative, at 1 p.m. ET, Thursday, April 16. 

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Redeploying non-essential teams to provide critical services 

For local governments, the Covid-19 outbreak is an all-hands-on-deck moment. And as cities are forced to close libraries, recreation centers, schools, and other facilities, they’re finding inventive ways to redeploy city staff in order to meet emerging and evolving needs related to the pandemic. Here’s how they’re doing just that in Rochester, Minn. (pictured); Burlington, Vt., Portland, Ore., and beyond. 

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Data tracker

John Hopkins' reported U.S. Covid-19 cases as of 8 a.m. EST on April 14.
  • 582,594 total cases, up 25,004 from April 13.
  • 23,649 total deaths, up 1,540 from April 13.
Find more up-to-date case counts and other critical information from the John Hopkins University's situation report and interactive map.
Professors from Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities are, on an ongoing basis, answering mayors’ questions about the virus and the crisis. Find the full list of questions and answers here.
Q: What are the best ways to do contact tracing? Is there an app or tech platform that can do this more effectively?
A great resource on contact tracing is this new report from Johns Hopkins and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers. Multiple technology platforms are emerging, but technology should be seen as an enabler of a smart, well-explained, coordinated, contact tracing strategy—not as a solution unto itself. 
Moreover, an effective public health response requires people to be able to explain quarantine and link people to resources that make quarantine possible. Scaling up human resources will be necessary. The report cited above has a section on technology as a force multiplier for contact tracing, as well as cautions about appropriate safeguards.
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A roundup of responses to the coronavirus crisis. See the
Covid-19: Local Action Tracker for more.


  • The National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors release a survey of more than 2,400 local officials that found 88 percent of them “anticipate the pandemic will lead to painful reductions in revenue this year” that will likely result in cuts to services, worker furloughs and layoffs. The outlook is “particularly acute” for cities, towns and villages with fewer than 500,000 residents.
  • Jersey City, N.J., starts relief fund for families in need and seniors to gain access to food and other necessities, while also providing relief to non-profits and local businesses. 





Daily inspiration: Making masks with AIDS Quilt scraps

Gert McMullin has made hundreds of the 48,000-plus panels that make up the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which is a memorial to the lives of people who have died of HIV/AIDS. And now McMullin, who is custodian of the 1.3-milllion-square-foot Quilt, is using its leftover fabric to make coronavirus masks. “I started trying to figure out what I could do that could help me, the way the Quilt had helped me through,” McMullin told People magazine. “So I decided to start sewing masks. Her masks are being used at facilities run by Bay America Community Services, which works with the homeless and people suffering from addiction.


Find more Covid-19 resources for city leaders here. Please suggest new resources to include here.

  • NEW NACTO will host a conversation on the role city streets can play in maintaining health during a time of social distancing, tomorrow, April 15, at 2 p.m. ET. Register here.
  • Public Private Strategies is hosting a webinar to discuss how city government, community leaders, philanthropy, and local companies can protect vulnerable populations impacted by Covid-19, tomorrow, April 15, at 10 a.m. ET. Register here.
  • Independent Sector is hosting a webinar for nonprofit organizations considering setting up a financial hardship assistance program tomorrow, April 15, at 2 p.m. ET. Register here.
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