New COVID State Preparedness Handbook Details 5 Actions to Plan, Prepare and Prevent COVID-19 Surges
Washington, DC: Amid more than twenty states experiencing surges in confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the U.S. reaching the grim milestone of 2 million cases, United States of Care (USofCare) outlined five actions that officials can take to prevent and prepare for future spikes in cases.
“We all want to stay safe and have a prosperous economy. As a nation facing a novel virus, our response to the pandemic’s first wave has primarily been designed in real-time with basic information about its clinical manifestations and how to avoid spreading the virus. Closely studying lessons learned from the first four months, including a better understanding of the hardest-hit communities, we’ve put together a COVID-19 State Preparedness Handbook to provide leaders with five critical steps to take now to plan, prepare, and prevent COVID-19 surges.”
– Kristin Wikelius, Senior Policy Director, US of Care
The five actions outlined in The COVID-19 State Preparedness Handbook include:
- Listening to the needs of different communities. The best responses come from listening first to people’s needs and understanding the challenges they have experienced since the pandemic began.
- Communicating clearly with people and use data to guide quick decision making. State leaders should take steps to make sure they are well-positioned to act quickly, using the best information and data to inform their decisions.
- Focusing on protecting people and places that face the highest risks. State leaders should be acting now to better protect settings that are high risk for COVID transmission and to plan for disruptions that could occur elsewhere if closures need to be reinstated.
- Building health system capacity to meet people’s needs. State leaders should take steps to build a well-resourced and prepared health care system and support the health care workforce with the resources necessary to take care of people.
- Building collaborative approaches now. State leaders should collaborate and partner with external stakeholders –both public and private–who are involved in COVID response and mitigation.
“As the nation simultaneously faces the worst public health crisis in a hundred years and the worst levels of unemployment seen since the Great Depression, the American people have experienced enormous anxieties over what they have been through during this pandemic and what lies ahead. They are counting on their leaders to set aside differences and find solutions to keep them healthy and safe. With the right foresight, planning, and action now, we believe our leaders can help America weather this storm and emerge stronger for it.”
– Emily Barson, Executive Director, US of Care