Coronavirus Crisis Response: Resources for Your Community

As communities continue to navigate this ongoing crisis, we've gathered some resources to support local governments.

image of coronavirus
VIA CDC US Government

Local government managers throughout the world are working tirelessly to protect, support, and lead their communities through the developing COVID-19 pandemic. ICMA has created this resource page and continues to develop and curate resources for local government managers to help them in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. ICMA will update this page as information becomes available.

Join ICMA Connect to participate in a discussion forum on COVID-19 with ICMA members and access a library for sharing documents, resources, links and more.

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PREPARING FOR A VACCINE

COVID-19 Vaccination Planning: The Countdown to Implementation Has Started

With the release of initial guidance from the CDC, a next act in the COVID era is beginning: preparation for a mass vaccination campaign.

CDC’s Interim Vaccination Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations

This document serves as an interim playbook for state and local public health programs and their partners on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19 within their jurisdictions.

CDC's From Factory to the Frontlines

The operation warp speed strategy for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. 

NACCHO's Early Vaccination Program Action Items for Jurisdictions

This is a checklist to assist in the early planning for the COVID-19 vaccination program, including steps to determine organizational structure and identify gaps in preparedness. 

Vaccine Planning Resource Library

The Association of Immunization Managers provide a collection of resources for COVID-19 vaccination planning. 

REOPENING OUR COMMUNITIES

Open, Closed, or in Between? Protocols for Ensuring Employee Public Health in Government Facilities

As local governments continue on the path to reopening, it may be time to update COVID-related employee policies.

Richard Florida on Building Back Better

The greatest reset must be inclusive, equitable, and resilient.

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment: Vital Sectors to Restarting Your Economy

While you are struggling with decisions on reopening your city, balancing public health and the economy, the arts can be your secret asset.

Support for Seniors Remains Crucial as Communities Reopen

Reopening our economy presents specific problems for older Americans and requires support from all levels of government, industry, and nonprofit organizations.

Al Fresco Becomes the New Norm

Local governments find innovative ways to reopen restaurants for socially distanced dining.

Letter from the Executive Director: The Difficult Road to Reopening

We must learn from each other, monitor the results of the actions we take, and work together to lead our communities through this difficult time.

A Legal Perspective on Reopening Communities

In this Q&A, Chuck Thompson of the International Municipal Lawyers Association helps answer questions ICMA members have on reopening public facilities.

Implementing a Phased Approach to Reopening Community Facilities

Consider these three steps for managing risks when reopening public amenities.

After COVID-19: Is There a Place for Telework in Local Government?

Key items to consider in determining if your community can or should have telework options for personnel.

Reopening Our Communities: Establishing a Recovery Team

Creating a task force, or a recovery team, of local government employees can help guide and inform how best to reopen your facilities.

Reopening Our Communities: Managing in the Middle

ICMA Mountain Plains Regional Director Karen Daly discusses the stresses of protecting the public health and reopening our communities.

Reopening our Communities after COVID-19: Additional Insight from Richard Florida

Thoughts to consider as we envision the path forward. [PM Magazine, May 2020]

How Our Cities Can Reopen After the COVID-19 Pandemic

A 10-Point Preparedness Plan for Our Communities. [PM Magazine, May 2020]

Seven Things to Consider When Reopening Communities

Seven critical considerations most local government managers will need to make in the process of reopening their communities in the weeks ahead.

Moving Beyond the Current Crisis: A Plan to Re-open Our Communities with Richard Florida

Richard Florida joined ICMA to share his thoughts on the path forward, which featured a 10-point plan to re-open our communities after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking Beyond the Current Coronavirus Crisis

ICMA Executive Director Marc Ott discusses beginning to plan for re-opening our communities.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE & COST RECOVERY

Please visit ICMA's dedicated webpage to find resources for emergency response and cost recovery

PUBLIC MEETINGS, ELECTIONS & CRISIS COMMUNICATION

PUBLIC MEETINGS

Taking Steps Toward Economic Recovery through Community Engagement

A small island takes town meetings online [PM Magazine, July 2020].

Reflecting on Virtual Public Meetings

Virtual public meetings have increased public participation and access.

The New Normal: Communities Adjust to Conducting Business Remotely While Maintaining Citizen Input

ICMA Northeast Regional Director Patricia Vinchesi shares key questions to answer and other factors to consider when conducting remote public meetings.

Public Meetings in the Time of Covid-19

ICMA’s blog post provides advice from Kenmore, Washington, on conducting meetings remotely.

ELECTIONS

Managing Safe and Secure Elections During COVID-19

The complexity of voting during a pandemic has created an unexpected set of logistical and expense challenges for local governments.

Five Steps to a Cybersecurity Culture in an Election Year

To protect government information, local leaders should take the following five steps to advance cybersecurity culture in their organizations.

CRISIS COMMUNICATION

From Pandemic to Infodemic: How Disinformation Is Negating Effective Public Health Response

Professional managers can be a positive voice and trusted source to help combat disinformation and foster a stronger public health response to the pandemic.

Getting Your Message Out: 10 Communication Practices for Changing Times

As a leader, if you want people to respond differently, you will need to assess how you can communicate more effectively. Here are 10 communication tips to consider.

The Big Mask-erade: What Do Residents Really Think About Face Masks and How to Get Them to Cooperate?

Diving into city-specific data reveals the different concerns residents are voicing when opposing mask regulations.

10 Ways to Manage Crisis Communications During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Strategies and insights to help local governments make their own outreach and engagement efforts more effective during this challenging time

Majority of Americans Are Sheltering in Place

Helping residents understand stay-at-home restrictions is a priority for local governments.

The Coronavirus and Your Crisis and Emergency Response Communication Plan

ICMA’s complimentary e-book looks at ways to develop sound crisis communication practices to help citizens and local government personnel understand and deal with dangerous situations in a timely and prudent manner.

The 8 Key Local Government Personnel You Need on Your Crisis Communications Team

ICMA’s infographic shows the roles and responsibilities of local government professionals in a crisis.

Ask the Expert: Managing Crisis in Local Government

Insight into the biggest gaps in local government crisis communication strategies.

WORKFORCE & OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

LEADING AND MANAGING YOUR WORKFORCE

Fauquier Community Child Care and Learning Pods Study

COVID-19 pandemic creates challenges for the child care industry.

Career Compass No. 85: To Thrive in Post-Pandemic, Enhance Employee Experience

Cultivating talent in good times and downturns will help stabilize morale, leading to better productivity and organizational health.

African American State and Local Government Employees Have Higher Concerns About Health and Financial Risks of COVID-19

Nearly 40 percent of African American state and local workers expect to take on more debt.

Two Places at One Time: Coronavirus Presents Challenges for Working Families

Policy, program, and partnership ideas to support working families in your community.

Remote Work Continues: Three Ways to Make It Really Work for Your Team and Residents

Three ways you can improve your remote work processes internally as you continue to serve residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

In Times Like These, Good Elected Official and Staff Relationships Are Even More Important

A thoughtful and proactive approach to establish and maintain effective relationships with elected officials will significantly increase the likelihood of success.

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP: Matters of the Heart

What is the heart of your community saying? 

Engaging for Local Government Innovation: It Is Always a Great Idea

Three engagement-related approaches that can help you during normal times or times of crisis.

The Role of the Cyber Leader in Times of Crisis

The changing world relies on cyber leaders to manage through the known unknowns [PM Magazine, June 2020].

Seven Strategies for Managing Uncertainty

Managing uncertainty is difficult at best and sometimes seemingly impossible. Use these strategies to help manage your own uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 10 Rs of Crisis Management

A road map for avoiding, preparing for, managing, and recovering from a crisis. [PM Magazine, May 2020]

Engaging Remote Staff During COVID-19

A sampling of ideas that local governments have employed to keep employees engaged and involved during the pandemic.

Leading Change Through a Pandemic

Leading a successful change process requires a clear reason, a solid strategy, and effective two-way communication.

Career Compass No. 81: We Need Adaptive Leaders Now

There is great uncertainty about when and how to act. Yet the leaders and followers must act anyway.

The Other Side of the COVID-19 Mountain

How Hallandale Beach is kick starting the long-term recovery of its city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Decision-Making in a Time of Crisis

Decision-making in local government requires sound planning, community engagement, and fiscal preparation.

Update 4: Perspectives from Local Government Leaders on Staff Morale

Managers from across the globe share how they are maintaining staff morale despite social distancing.

Supporting a Management Colleague in Distress

We in local government management need to create a culture of support and caring so that support is offered when we ourselves need it.

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

General Operations Management & Service Delivery

Results-Oriented Strategic Planning

Port St. Lucie has refined its strategic planning process to become a dynamic tool for decision-making.

Halloween Trick-or-Treat During Covid-19

Double, double, toil and trouble—Halloween during a pandemic.

COVID-19 Pandemic Shines a Light on the Need for Strong State-Local Partnerships

Strong state-local relationship built over many years a true difference maker.

Students Are Coming Back or Not: What College Towns Can Do to Prepare

How local governments are ensuring a smooth and safe integration of students back onto campus and into their communities.

How Data Are Informing Local COVID-19 Response

Data are helping managers respond to COVID-19 in their communities.

Have You Optimized These Four Areas of Your COVID-19 Operations?

Four areas of operations that may be the low-hanging fruit you need to boost your productivity and operational efficiency.

College Students Are Coming Back: Is that Good or Bad for Your Community?

Decisions will not only reshape student life and learning but impact the economic vitality of the schools’ host communities and potentially the health and safety of residents.

Coronavirus: Restroom Guidance for Local Leaders

The ongoing pandemic has reestablished the importance of public sanitation and elevated restrooms as a key element in a return to normalcy. 

Preparing for a Natural Disaster During the Pandemic

As local governments continue COVID-19 recovery operations, new emergencies emerge--from flooding to hurricane season. Here are some resources to help you prepare.

A Whole-of-Government Approach: Embedding Disaster Resilience into Municipal Operations

Integrating disaster planning across your organization. [PM Magazine, May 2020]

Will Local Governments Host Summer Events in the Era of COVID-19?

The summer of 2020 promises to be one of conflicting priorities—offering some ways to celebrate the season while following public health and safety guidance.

Enforcing Mask Protection and Its Challenges

It is helpful from an enforcement perspective to have consistent laws and regulatory practices for the wearing of face coverings.   

Employment Law Adjustments for COVID-19

Neil Reichenberg of IPMA-HR shares information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act for employers and employees across America.

Continuity of Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Local governments must begin thinking through key changes in operational support to make certain they are able to meet the critical needs of their community.  

The Role of Emergency Medical Services in Local COVID-19 Responses

EMS leaders share practical, preventative measures you can follow in your community to best protect EMS personnel, reduce risk, and execute responsible EMS care.

Planning for COVID-19 Community Volunteers

Local government managers can make effective use of the increased capacity generated by disaster response volunteers by considering the following recommendations.

Fiscal Resilience & Budgeting

How Surprise, AZ, Tapped Staff Expertise to Speed Up Economic Recovery

Recovery strategy focuses on communications, metrics, reinforcement, recognition, and regeneration

Municipal Bankruptcy in the Time of COVID-19

The pandemic’s devastating economic impact has for local governments in some states looking at restructuring financial obligations. [PM Magazine, August 2020]

Three Principles and a Sim: Guidance for Cutback Budgeting in the Covid-19 Recession

Remember these three basic principles as you evaluate appropriate cutback budgeting measures for your local government.

Career Compass No. 82: Avoid Layoffs by Using a Menu of Strategies

To redesign services, local government leaders need to cross boundaries and engage stakeholders inside and outside the organization.

Fiscal and Organization Strategies During a Pandemic: Looking Ahead

Whether your local government is facing budget shortfalls this year or your local economy is taking a hit, every organization is feeling the effects of the pandemic.

This Fiscal Crisis Requires Bold Actions in Local Government

Don’t just “cut the budget;” rethink and redesign city services.

COVID-19 Resources: Fiscal and Organizational Strategies During a Pandemic

PowerPoint presentation that accompanied the May 8 Webinar: Fiscal and Organizational Strategies During a Pandemic.

Budgeting During a Crisis: A Four-Step Plan to Respond to the COVID-19 Recession

A four-step COVID-19 recession response plan that can form the foundation of a local government’s plan to address the crisis.

Budgeting During a Crisis

This ICMA webinar, led by Andy Belknap, Senior Vice President, Management Partners, covered the first principles of cutback budgeting.

IT & Remote Work

Remote Work Continues: Three Ways to Make It Really Work for Your Team and Residents

Three ways you can improve your remote work processes internally as you continue to serve residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

How Mount Vernon, Washington, Kept Facilities and Permitting Operations Efficient During a Pandemic

Mount Vernon focused on these three areas to have efficient government operations in facilities and permitting during the pandemic.

Remote Work Continues: Three Ways to Make It Really Work for Your Team and Residents

Three ways you can improve your remote work processes internally as you continue to serve residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Internet Service and Access During COVID-19

Local governments find innovative ways to provide internet access in response to COVID-19.

Checklist: Keep Your Remote Workforce Safe from Cyberthreats

Use these best practices to enhance the cybersecurity of your local government teleworking plan.

Quick Steps to Prepare a Remote Work Policy for Your Local Government

ICMA’s blog post provides a quick list of things to include and/or consider in your remote work policy.

IT Practices and Procedures to Consider in Cases of Extended Telecommuting

ICMA’s blog post provides guidance on how to remain cybersecure while increasing teleworking capacity.

Using Microsoft Teams for Remote Connections

Many local governments have the capacity for remote work at their fingertips.

Coordinating Municipal Employee Schedules in Unusual Times

Efficient tracking and scheduling of employees become simpler with a robust scheduling platform.

LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES & MEMBER TESTIMONIALS 

PERSONAL RESILIENCE

ICMA Senior Advisors

In these uncertain and difficult times, an ICMA Senior Advisor can be a sounding board, a confidant, and a listener. Contact a senior advisor on this list for personal and professional support.

Check in on Your Emotional Health when Social Distancing

Dr. Michael Howell, regional medical executive with Cigna, shares questions you can ask yourself to help reduce stress and manage your health.

Five Simple Strategies and One Quick Tip for Building Resilience

Resilience is what helps us maintain progress and productivity in the face of challenges.

Three Strategies for Embracing Humanness and Combating Resiliency Fatigue

Humanness is showing up right now as resiliency fatigue.

Eight Ways to Boost Your Mental Health

You have the power to calm your mind, strengthen your body, and act with purpose.

Local Government Employees and COVID-19 Stress: What Managers Can Do About It

What’s a local government manager to do about promoting emotional health during COVID-19? 

Five Ways to Overcome Feeling Overwhelmed

If you, your local government team members, or even family members are feeling overwhelmed, try some of these strategies to help you overcome the overwhelm.

Resiliency: Calming in Critical Moments for County and Municipal Managers, Deputy Managers, and Assistant Managers Part Two

This 45-minute topical web discussion is intended to help bolster your ability to meet the personal demands these extraordinary times are placing on you and your staff. It focuses on supporting your ability to manage sustained high stress, think more clearly, be more emotionally resilient, and remain physically strong.

Dealing with Your Own Stress, Coping Strategies in the COVID-19 World

David E. Morrison, M.D., consultant, psychiatrist, and founder of Morrison Associates, Ltd., explains how local government managers can cope with stress during this global health crisis in this ICMA teleconference.

Why Local Leaders Need to Make a Personal Resilience Plan During a Crisis

Ron Carlee shares how no two crises are the same and no two communities are the same, but lessons from the past can help inform a novel situation.

Managing Your Stress During and After a Crisis

Knowing yourself and your limits is important in managing your stress during and after a disaster strikes.

MEMBER TESTIMONIALS 

What if Uncertainty Is the New Normal?

ICMA West Coast Regional Vice President Peter Troedsson shares the “return to normal” will be filled with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA).

The Resiliency of Palestine During COVID-19

Providing equitable service delivery to its most vulnerable residents

Philippines Adjusts and Plans for New Realities Amid COVID-19

Updates from Tagbilaran City and Legazpi City amid pandemic.

How Mount Vernon, Washington, Kept Facilities and Permitting Operations Efficient During a Pandemic

Mount Vernon focused on these three areas to have efficient government operations in facilities and permitting during the pandemic.

Finding Solutions to Challenges of COVID-19 in the Philippines

Participants in the USAID SURGE Project, implemented by ICMA, focus on bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of the Fire and Into the Pandemic

Taking on COVID-19 in Australia’s regional, remote, and small local governments [PM Magazine, July 2020].

Case Study: The City of Cedar Park’s COVID-19 Response

We sent much of our workforce home. Now, how do we get our operations back to normal?

Update 6: Canadian City Managers Work to Keep Communities Safe and Stable

Managers throughout Canada share their perspectives on dealing with this ongoing pandemic.

City and Business Leader Model Resilience in Philippines

Participants in the USAID SURGE Project, implemented by ICMA focus on bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update 5: Around the World Cities Begin to Reopen

Local government leaders share their experiences in coronavirus recovery and reopening their communities.

Cities in China Using Health QR Codes to Speed Reopening

Balancing the return to work and minimizing the risk of a secondary outbreak calls for big data given China's mobile workforce.

It Hit Us First: COVID-19 and Your Municipality

The first municipality in Florida to have a confirmed positive case. [PM Magazine, May 2020]

The Other Side of the COVID-19 Mountain

How Hallandale Beach is kick starting the long-term recovery of its city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leading Through a Pandemic and Preparing for the New Normal

Tom Bakaly, CEO of Beach Cities Health District and former city manager describes how his organization has responded to COVID-19.

Update 4: Perspectives from Local Government Leaders on Staff Morale

Managers from across the globe share how they are maintaining staff morale despite social distancing.

Update 3: Perspectives from Local Government Leaders Across the Globe on COVID-19

In this update, several city managers from around the world recorded their perspectives on the challenges they face and how they are coping with the continued spread of COVID-19.

How to Encourage Community Building During the COVID-19 Crisis

Retired manager Ed Everett shares several ways that healthy residents can help their community while continuing to practice safe habits.

When COVID-19 Comes to Your Town

In ICMA's blog post, infected manager Tony Mazzucco shares lessons learned when your top staff must be quarantined.

Update 2: Perspectives from ICMA Leaders Across the Globe on COVID-19

Managers in the United States and from other countries share their perspectives on dealing with a potential pandemic.

Public Meetings in the Time of COVID-19

The city of Kenmore, Washington, conducted its first critical fiscal sustainability task force meeting via video conference.

COMMUNITY & SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE

How to Build an Invincible Community in this Uncertain World

Four simple yet powerful steps toward providing a community or organization with a crisis-ready culture that will lead them to invincibility.

Leadership Before, During, and After a Crisis

This report, Leadership Before, During, and After a Crisis, analyzes the common and effective leadership and management skills and techniques that professional managers deploy when a crisis strikes and identifies leading practices that can be adopted.

VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES

Improving Public Health through Racial Data

As COVID-19 continues to spread through communities of color, it is important to understand the historic framework impacting African Americans and why race still matters.

Support for Seniors Remains Crucial as Communities Reopen

Reopening our economy presents specific problems for older Americans and requires support from all levels of government, industry, and nonprofit organizations.

Queer in COVID; It Hits Differently

What happens when an indiscriminate virus walks into a biased society?

Internet Service and Access During COVID-19

Local governments find innovative ways to provide internet access in response to COVID-19.

Spanish Language Resources for COVID-19

COVID-19 resources for Spanish speaking residents in your community.

Planning for COVID-19 Community Volunteers

Local government managers can make effective use of the increased capacity generated by disaster response volunteers by considering the following recommendations.

Sheltering the Homeless During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Key considerations in identifying potential emergency shelters for the homeless plus examples of what other communities are doing to provide shelters.

Preventing COVID-19 Generated Family Financial Instability

This CitiSpeaks blog provides insight on how COVID-19 response has impacted low income individuals and provides examples of how communities are supporting these populations.

SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

Taking Steps Toward Economic Recovery through Community Engagement

A small island takes town meetings online [PM Magazine, July 2020].

Local Governments Help Small Businesses Reopen

Despite staffing shortages and budget cuts, cities, counties, and towns are working to get small businesses back on their feet.

Apply for CARES Act Grants to Arts Organizations Now!

Call to Action: Arts nonprofits have access to new funds through the National Endowment for the Arts but deadline is approaching.

How Local Governments Are Working to Keep Small Business Alive

Federal relief funds have been committed but many small businesses do not have the cash flow to survive.

Disaster Assistance Loans

The US Small Business Administration provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Community foundations

Community Foundations Nationwide Launch Coronavirus Relief Efforts

The Community Foundation Public Awareness Foundation tracks nearly 190 state relief funds to support those affected by COVID-19 which direct critical relief to local nonprofits and partner with local governments and health organizations to help contain its spread.

LOCAL POLICY GUIDANCE & DATA

POLICY BANKS

COVID-19: Local Action Tracker

NLC provides and categorizes policy examples of community responses.

County Declarations and Policies in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

NACo's map is continuously updated as new declarations and policies are issued in counties across the country in response to COVID-19.

ICMA POLICY SAMPLES 

Sample COVID-19 Community Letter

A template to help local leaders craft a message to the community about their first confirmed COVID-19 case.

Coronavirus Discussion Guide

ICMA’s Coronavirus Discussion Guide for managers to begin planning with their leadership teams and partner organizations.

DATA

Cox’s Pathways to Effective Use of Data: Four Opportunities to Take the Road Less Traveled

Kristen Cox’s Trailblazing Session reminds us that data can be an incredibly powerful tool, or it can handicap us as local government leaders.

New ICMA Survey Shows Depth of Economic Downturn for Cities and Counties

CARES funds slow to reach most local governments.

How Data Are Informing Local COVID-19 Response

This is a summary of data dashboards and how they are helping managers respond to COVID-19 in their communities.

GFOA Economic Indicator Dashboard

GFOA created dashboards to provide one location for local government finance officers to easily access an up-to-date array of data/trends/indices to help them forecast revenue, expenditures, debt issuance, employment and other short- and long-run economic factors impacting their constituents.

NACo County Explorer 

NACo's County Explorer displays confirmed COVID-19 cases and state and county declarations and policies all in one location. 

Esri Covid-19 Overview

Esri provides ready-to-use apps and dashboards that immediately aid better understanding and decision-making around COVID-19 in your community or organization. Use these examples from the global GIS community to create customized maps and interactive resources.

STRATEGIC PARTNER RESOURCES

ADVOCACY/GRANT MANAGEMENT

BUILDING TECHNOLOGY & SAFETY

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

  • Polco's offers free COVID-19 response surveys designed so you can gather important resident and business feedback to help make informed, timely decisions.

DISASTER RESILIENCY & PLANNING

EXECUTIVE RECRUITING

  • GovHR USA is providing free resume review to new graduates and local government staff in transition, free job board postings, FEMA reimbursement assistance, and other services through their COVID-19 resource page

FINANCIAL SERVICES

HEALTHCARE & WELLNESS

MANAGEMENT CONSULTING

  • Plante Moran has collected articles and webinars through their COVID-19 government resource center to help municipalities understand the impact on their communities, and their government response assessment helps local government leaders determine if their COVID-19 response and recovery plans are on track.

PROFESSIONAL & TECHNICAL SERVICES

  • Jacobs developed the Rapid Decision Making tool to address the need for surge planning, assisting state and local governments and healthcare systems in quickly assessing the need for additional hospital beds based on the level of acuity.

SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY

MORE RESOURCES ON CORONAVIRUS

Access more of the latest content on Coronavirus in local government.

VIEW ALL ON CORONAVIRUS

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