Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

SUMMARY/BACKGROUND

The coronavirus disease 2019, otherwise known as COVID-19, is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of the coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are responding to the outbreak which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States. On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.” Less than two months later WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

CORONAVIRUS BY THE NUMBERS
Coronavirus Data

In the United States, there are at least N/A active cases, with cases present in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
At least N/A patients with the virus have died in the US.
(Source: www.worldometers.info)

According to Business Insider, nearly all states have declared states of emergency in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. On March 13th, President Trump declared a national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

View a map showing coronavirus data by county here.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA): CONSIDERATIONS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
To provide interim guidance oriented to United States local government managers on COVID-19, ICMA has curated considerations for local preparedness and response along with essential resources. Chains Of Command For Public Health Emergencies. The chain of command will be different in a public health emergency than during natural disasters or human-created crises. Work with your state and local public health authorities and other community stakeholders to confirm emergency procedures, such as:
  • Which organization will take the lead on coordinating local response?
  • Who will be directing specific steps to follow for best medical practices?
  • Where does funding for emergency response come from?
  • Which organization will take the lead or “speak first” in health-related communication? How will other organizations disseminate that information to their specific audiences?
  • Which levels of government will have a role in determining and enforcing movement restrictions or quarantines?
  • How are you establishing a relationship with your public health agency now so you receive information before it is released to the general public?
Crisis Communications. Local government managers have a critical role to play in public health crisis communications. Heightened media interest and coverage over a potential pandemic event can be a significant factor in emergency response. What messages can the local government deliver and reinforce? Recommended communications strategies:
  • Connecting with your local public health unit to ensure you are receiving the most up-to-date information.
  • Continuously monitoring and helping disseminate information from your local public health units to your community.
  • Partnering with other governmental organizations to provide translation services during an emergency event.
  • Providing fact sheets and resources from sources, such as the CDC, to firstline communicators throughout your organization, such as customer service representatives and elected officials.
  • Promoting verified information to dispel misinformation about the origin, spread, or impact of the virus, including, but not limited to, combating stigma in relation to Chinese and other Asian and Asian American communities.
  • Educating your community regarding nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that help slow the spread of illness (i.e., hand washing, sneeze techniques, improper use of masks, remote work policies, etc.).
  • Encouragement of general population emergency preparedness for individuals including food and water storage, medication supply and access, and the creation or update of a household emergency plan.
  • Identifying what segments of your population may require specialized outreach, and what organizations you can partner with to provide translation services during an emergency event.
Potential Gaps In Emergency Response Protocol. If your organization doesn’t have a specific viral disease plan, such as a pandemic influenza plan, you may have a general hazard mitigation plan or continuity of operations plan. Review your existing emergency preparedness and response plans and identify potential gaps for a pandemic emergency. Elements to consider:
  • Basic plans for family or households who may have COVID-19-infected members.
  • Lodging/quarantine for household animals with infected owners.
  • Facilities or resources, such as emergency command centers, lodging, or staff expertise your organization can make available to aid in emergency response.
  • Potential national media attention and the impacts to your communication plan and staffing.
  • Contingency plans if key local government employees contract the illness.
  • Access to and necessity of personal protective equipment (PPE) as identified by your local public health authority.
  • Impacts of restricted movement directives or large-scale quarantines on your community.
  • Following and implementing CDC and your local public health agency’s guidance on mass gatherings within your community.
TECHNICAL RESOURCES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Resources

World Health Organization

Other Federal Department Resources

National Partners

Congressional Research Service

Infographics and Downloads

FUNDING RESOURCES
Congressional Spending Package Politico reported last Thursday March 6th President Trump signed the $8.3 billion emergency funding package Congress quickly cleared. The bipartisan package (PL 116-123) provides a total of $7.7 billion in new discretionary spending and authorizes an additional $490 million in mandatory spending through a Medicare change. More than $400 million will be disbursed to states within the first 30 days of the law’s enactment with each state receiving no less than $4 million.
  • $8.3 billion new emergency supplemental funds
  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics
  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response,
    • $950 million of which is to support state & local health agencies
  • $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity;
  • $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions;
  • $1.25 billion to address the coronavirus abroad to help keep Americans safe here at home; and
  • Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses, to help cushion the economic blow of this public health emergency o $300 million so the government can purchase vaccines at a fair and reasonable price.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) On March 4th the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced upcoming action to provide initial resources to a limited number of state and local jurisdictions in support of our nation’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • Initial $25 million cooperative agreement to the states and local jurisdictions who have borne the largest burden of response and preparedness activities to date.
  • Initial $10 million cooperative agreement to state and local jurisdictions to begin implementation of coronavirus surveillance across the U.S., building on existing influenza activities and other surveillance systems.
MAPPING AND TRACKING THE VIRUS

All mapping dashboard screenshots were collected on March 11, 2020 and do not reflect current data.

Johns Hopkins University

In response to this ongoing public health emergency, an interactive web-based dashboard (static snapshot shown at left) has been developed and hosted by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University to visualize and track reported cases in real-time. 

Esri China Dashboard

GIS specialists from Esri China produced a dashboard that also includes the number suspected but unconfirmed COVID-19 cases and links to recent news stories.

Hong-Kong Dashboard

A Hong Kong-based dashboard contributes a feature showing the locations of buildings visited by higher concentrations of confirmed cases and the locations of current quarantines—a detail that can help residents of those areas actively reduce their exposure.

All information and resources provided in this blog should be paired with the frequent updates provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), among others.