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Communities on the Frontline: Week of June 1

Release Date

Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19). Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on unique ways communities are helping to inform and protect one another.

Protect the Sacred Campaign

Navajo Nation youth have launched a social media campaign called "Protect the Sacred." The campaign targets tech-savvy youth, with internet or electricity access, to spread accurate information about COVID-19 to their families and elders. Since March, the campaign has held three livestreams featuring Navajo healthcare providers, politicians and celebrities.

Alternative Care Sites Preparedness Assessment Tool

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) released an assessment tool that architects can use to help hospitals and public health agencies identify and adapt alternative care sites, such as convention centers, sports arenas, hotels and dormitories for occupancy during the pandemic. The Preparedness Assessment tool lists considerations for functional requirements such as mitigating the risk of spreading pathogens within the facility, monitoring and managing sites for 24/7 operations, mechanical and electrical changes and additional considerations for cultural competency and accessibility of the facility.

The AIA also released architectural and engineering guidance for businesses operating in non-medical settings to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19. Important considerations for workplaces include development of infectious disease preparedness and response plans, implementing basic prevention measures and developing procedures for identifying cases and notifying workers. The assessment tool promotes best practices that protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Retail Shopping

As malls reopened, some retail stores have closed every other fitting room, installed plexiglass dividers at checkouts and, during checkout, request that customers take receipts from the printer themselves. Some stores have set up welcome tables with hand sanitizer, disposable masks and sticky blue mats that clean the soles of shoes. Clothes are folded in a way that encourages minimal physical handling while browsing. Some stores have instituted temperature checks at entrances and others are requesting that customers make appointments to shop. A jewelry store has moved its jewelry cleaning machines to the front of stores so that employees can sanitize merchandise in plain view after customers try on jewelry.

These stories are part of the FEMA Best Practice initiative which focuses on compiling the best practices and lessons learned from communities fighting COVID-19.  To see more stories like this, visit the Best Practices page. For more information on how to help during COVID-19, visit FEMA’s website for information on donations and volunteering.

Last updated March 17, 2021