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RECAP: White House Briefing for State & Local Officials on COVID-19

Posted on March 11, 2020 by Dene Westbrook
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs has provided an update on the federal government’s current efforts to address COVID-19 (coronavirus). The White House recommends following the CDC’s website for the most immediate updates on the pandemic. Additionally, the website www.coronavirus.org is available with pandemic resources and information.
The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs recommends the following:
  • For all emergency related issues or concerns, be sure to initiate contact with your local emergency management coordinator and/or your local public official. Follow up with the appropriate state officials if local and regional communication is unavailable.
  • Prioritize and encourage community mitigation – emphasize hand hygiene, social distancing and allow others and yourself to self-isolate when you feel ill. Vaccination and/or medications are not available for the virus at this time. The only way to limit the virus is to slow down the spread by minimizing interactions.
  • Be mindful of special populations. This disease is operating as a heterogeneous disease — the young and healthy are either mild or asymptomatic. Those who are elderly or more susceptible to severe system and death. Be mindful of senior/ nursing homes or facilities that house vulnerable populations. There are is supplemental local healthcare support available for communities with high outbreaks. Also, be mindful of children and high-density populations. Establish and maintain close communications with your school districts and small business owners.
  • Encourage your community members to continue giving blood. Hospitals around the country are experiencing shortages of available blood supplies as people are not contributing as they usually do during the outbreak. Contributions of blood are still necessary to support trauma patients and those with significant injuries. This is an effective way to help.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development will be providing resources for local governments to assist transient and homeless populations. See their resource page at https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus.
  • Local officials with questions on preparation and mitigation of the COVID-19 outbreak may send their questions to Covid_19@ed.gov. Individuals are on hand to provide any needed support.

Herasanna Richards is a legislative associate handling energy, environmental, elections, and external municipal services for the League. She can be reached at hrichards@mml.org or 517-908-0309.

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