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New York City is crowdsourcing coronavirus info

As the U.S. hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City is racing to keep its hospitals functioning ahead of an expected surge in cases in the next few days. But officials are also trying to figure out where other potential infections of the novel coronavirus may be spreading. Earlier this week, the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications launched an "engagement portal" through which New Yorkers can report their symptoms and whether they've come into contact with people displaying conditions of COVID-19. In turn, the city plans to use the collected data to message its residents with the latest public-health information. "You could send mass communications to everyone with symptoms, to any person with symptoms in Queens or a certain school district or people in quarantine," said city CIO Jessica Tisch. But, she added, “this will all depend on our New Yorkers signing up.” Benjamin Freed reports.

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State and local Democratic officials launch coronavirus policy tracker

To slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a network of 180 state and local Democratic officials are sharing ideas through weekly virtual meetings and a database of legislative and executive actions. Mayors, county commissioners and state legislators that are part of the NewDEAL, as the group is called, are contributing to its coronavirus response tracker, which is designed to help those officials take coronavirus-related action in specific policy areas, like small business support, housing or financial assistance. “Our goal isn’t possible, or really necessary, to have every single action taken by leaders or by the broader community of state and local office-holders,” said Jonathon Dworkin, the group’s communications director. “But we want to have enough to cover the gamut of what people are doing so that there are examples about.” The group is also convening virtual meetings for its members with speakers like Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore's former health commissioner. Ryan Johnston has more.

See more of StateScoop's COVID-19 coverage

StateScoop and EdScoop's coverage of how the information technology communities are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in an ongoing special report, featuring stories on what steps cities, states and universities are taking as the health crisis stretches budgets and forces them to rethink their operations. There are also new podcasts and commentaries on the role geospatial information systems will play in tracking the pandemic, resources on state governments' coronavirus websites and analyses of what impact this event will have on IT supply chains and cybersecurity. Read more here.


For a more secure Next-Gen 911, look at network demands

Modernizing the nation’s 911 networks is essential to ensure first responders can assist America’s communities. State and local government leaders are already making important investment decisions to upgrade the underlying network infrastructure for today’s wireless- and IP-driven world. However, how to address underlining capabilities such as data management and security remains a top concern. Read the full report.

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