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Communities on the Frontline: Week of May 18

Release Date

Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on collaboration that goes the extra mile to help people stay connected, safe and informed.

Stanford Pet Partners

In collaboration with Stanford Health Care's Professional Animal Workers program, therapy dogs at Stanford Hospital, and Stanford University have moved to online video communication applications such as Zoom and Instagram to continue providing emotional support services for staff and students.

Advanced Patient Isolation Coverings

A multidisciplinary collaboration at Harvard University has led to the creation of a new piece of personal protective equipment (PPE): transparent patient isolation coverings. These shields serve to protect healthcare providers by covering the patient's head and top part of their body and maintaining negative air pressure inside.

Emergency Operations Center Future Planning for Evacuation

In preparation for the hurricane season, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Galveston, Texas, conducts daily virtual meetings with stakeholders, to include the Chamber of Commerce, school districts, hospitals and universities. The city has updated its list of people registered for the need-a-ride program in the event of a hurricane evacuation and now anticipates a need to double the number of buses available for transport to maintain social distancing during evacuations. The city also works to ensure it has sufficient PPE and thermometers to resource health assessment stations before people are allowed to board a bus to a hurricane shelter. The EOC set up laptop stations to make the EOC more portable for potential future continuity of operations situations.

Online Situational Update Aggregator

In Ontario, Canada, Public Health Ontario has developed an online platform that consolidates COVID-19-related updates in a daily scan of national and international health organization situational updates and guidance for the public to access. The platform also provides resources for professionals who are responding to the pandemic and a regularly updated summary table including research articles relating to the virus. Resources include fact sheets, guidance, best practices, laboratory testing, presentations, reports and research.

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.

Last updated March 17, 2021