U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Https

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites..

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Best Practice Case Studies

The following is a collection of key findings and considerations for jurisdictions and communities regarding ongoing COVID-19 pandemic operations across the country. They cover topics such as:

  • Food Banks
  • Government Engagement with Citizens
  • Considerations for People with Disabilities
  • Community Emergency Response Teams
  • Volunteer Management


The COVID-19 Best Practices are searchable by title or keyword below, and they can be filtered by FEMA's community lifelines and core capabilities.

Community lifelines enable the continuous operation of essential government and business functions to promote public health and safety and economic security.

Core capabilities are distinct, critical elements that are necessary to achieve our National Preparedness Goal.

Graphic
Email icon

For more information on these COVID-19 best practices, organizations and individuals can email the FEMA Continuous Improvement Team.

Search for Best Practice Case Studies

FEMA does not endorse any non-government entities, organizations, or services. Claims made by third parties have not been independently verified by FEMA.

Local jurisdictions and nonprofit organizations have compiled resources and offered video conferencing services for students and employees with disabilities who are learning or working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People with disabilities must have equal access to COVID-19 information as those without disabilities. State and local jurisdictions, as well as healthcare organizations, can enhance communication access through visual symptom check cards and accessible videos. These videos may include American Sign Language (ASL)/Puerto Rican Sign Language (PRSL), captioning, voice-over, or audio description. Televised press conferences have also included qualified sign language interpreters.
During natural disasters that coincide with a pandemic, shelter providers can coordinate with disability service organizations to ensure the accessibility of congregate and non-congregate shelters.
Amid the increase in counseling need during the COVID-19 pandemic, crisis counseling providers can train staff on disability-related topics, such as etiquette and accessible communication, to enhance the reach of their services. Crisis counseling services can include auxiliary aids and services for individuals who may have access and functional needs.
To ensure the accessibility of healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic, medical facilities should consider allowing caregivers to accompany patients with disabilities to medical visits, while implementing the necessary precautions for social distancing and mask-wearing. Medical centers have also created visual guides to explain COVID-19 preventive behaviors to individuals with autism.
To offer emotional and social support for nursing home and assisted living residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities can set up video conference calls between residents and loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance documents on ensuring the safety of patients, residents, and staff amid shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and life-sustaining medical equipment.
Jurisdictions can increase the accessibility of COVID-19 testing by offering mobile testing services that allow individuals with disabilities to be tested at home. COVID-19 testing sites can also provide video interpreting services or reserve time slots for populations with access and functional needs.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, disability stakeholder organizations and local jurisdictions created phone lines for individuals with disabilities to request grocery or general assistance. Crowdsourced mobile applications can assist individuals with disabilities while they are grocery shopping and cannot ask for in-person assistance due to social distancing guidelines.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides funding for eligible states and non-profit entities to incorporate auxiliary aids and services in COVID-19 related response activities to accommodate individuals with access and functional needs.
Local jurisdictions held virtual town halls during the COVID-19 pandemic to gather community concerns that would inform response efforts.
Governments can use different survey methods, such as online forms and socially distanced household visits, to assess constituent needs and better formulate outreach and response plans.
Online request forms and helplines can help officials assess constituent needs relating to food, hygiene, and medication procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these resources, residents who are unable to obtain necessities for medical, physical, or financial reasons can request delivery assistance.
Many state and local governments have consolidated COVID-19 updates, resources, and help request forms on their webpages for convenient access. To ensure accessibility across all communities, some sites include language translations and phone numbers to call for further assistance in navigating the resources.
State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments can partner with private organizations to support the logistics of purchasing and distributing large amounts of food donations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and corporations donated freezers for food storage, and restaurants and caterers donated excess food from business closures and cancelled events.
Centralized information sources online or through a helpline or textline can provide key information regarding county or city food banks, such as location, hours, contact information, and delivery availability. This can increase the accessibility of these resources during a pandemic.
Food banks can partner with restaurants, schools, or private and non-profit organizations to increase their workforce, community reach, and food supply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many food banks have experienced personnel shortages because their volunteer bases are comprised largely of individuals over the age of 60, a group that has been identified as more vulnerable to COVID-19. Food banks can prepackage food items and hold drive-thru distributions to help workers, volunteers, and clients adhere to social distancing guidelines and stay safe.
Last updated July 6, 2021