Rave blog Post

What We're Talking About This Week - June 19th

Airlines said that they will ramp up enforcement of face covering policy, communicating policy to customers before take off. Effective intergoverment communications fosters clear, calm crisis management amid the coronavirus outbreak. Seattle distributes $345,000 to digital literacy organizations, focusing on programs for low-income students as well as projects for young women or adults looking to cast new skills. College presidents and professors analyzed the risks of reopening colleges in an op-ed for the New York Times. Can tech help public health manage COVID-19 with fewer workers, despite badly needed funds and staff? 

Key Points: 

  • Public health funding in the U.S. has been on the decline for 20 years. During the decade following the 2008 recession, federal, state and local budget cuts forced local public health departments to eliminate nearly 57,000 jobs. 
  • The CDC is providing nearly $900 million from CARES Act funds to state and local jurisdictions to help with surveillance, testing, contact tracing and other functions, but these funds don’t address pre-existing needs.
  • It’s possible that the shock of the shutdown, and the central role of testing and monitoring in recovery plans, will provoke willingness to fund public health at this level. Until then, new and evolving IT tools, including powerful resources donated by major tech companies, are helping those who are still on the job attack unprecedented challenges. 

  • The full range of IT resources for public health also includes chatbots, AI, remote monitoring and data visualization. But given the ground that needs to be covered to make up for years of underfunding, local public health departments may not be ready for all of them.

This Week From The Rave Team 

Read some of the stories our writers were most excited to share with you this week. To access all of our stories, check out our blog

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Mary Kate McGrath
Mary Kate McGrath

Mary Kate is a content specialist and social media manager for the Rave Mobile Safety team. She writes about public safety for the state & local and education spheres.

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