Local leaders will deliver America's communities through this crisis. That's why Bloomberg Philanthropies created the City Hall Coronavirus Daily Update, to elevate the critical information city leaders need to respond to and recover from the challenges at hand.

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Crisis expert to mayors: Pace yourselves for the long haul

As mayors now bear the double-edged brunt of both COVID-19 and exploding civil unrest, crisis-management expert and Harvard Professor Juliette Kayyem suggests city leaders modulate their pace in order to sustain themselves for the long road ahead. “It’s time to move from the adrenaline stage to the marathon stage,” said Kayyem, who helped manage the Obama administration’s response to the 2010 BP oil spill. “You cannot sustain what people have been demanding of you—plus working on all the other things that inspired you to run for office in the first place.” Here’s what Kayyem and fellow Harvard Professor Herman B. “Dutch” Leonard say mayors should be focused on in the weeks and months to come. 

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Johns Hopkins' confirmed U.S. COVID-19 cases as of 8 a.m. EDT on June 2.
(up 21,086 from June 1)
(up 764 from June 1)
Find more up-to-date case counts and other critical information from the Johns Hopkins University's situation report and interactive map.
Professors from Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities are, on an ongoing basis, answering mayors’ questions about the virus and the crisis. Find a full list of questions and answers here.
Q: What are some of the predicted bottlenecks in the public health care system or supply chain that we should prepare for?

It is not too early to start thinking about what the fall might look like. If you have a resurgence in some form in your community in the fall, are you ready for that? How would you recognize it was happening? Would you have stockpiles of PPE? Would you be ready to ramp up the testing process even further? It's not too early to start thinking about that. Because this is a respiratory virus, we can hope (though we can’t yet be sure) that there will be a reduction in transmission during the summer months, although aggressive moves to reopen may change that in some places.

Professor Henderson's scenario planning process can help you think about what the scenarios in the fall could look like, and what can you do now to be in a better position then.
Read more FAQs


A roundup of responses to the coronavirus crisis. See the
COVID-19: Local Action Tracker for more.

  • As Seattle moves to allow outdoor dining and outdoor gatherings of five or fewer people, Mayor Jenny Durkan reminds residents, “We aren’t out of the woods yet.”  
  • Mayor Catherine Robinson of Bunell, Fla., asks the governor to allow bars to open. Under the current reopening plan, bars must remain shuttered, while restaurants can reopen at 50-percent capacity. 
  • After nine weeks of lockdown, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin of Moscow eases restrictions, allowing malls, car dealerships, and parks to reopen. 
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan says city employees of color will be offered risk assessments in an effort to tackle COVID-based health disparities.  
Daily Inspiration: A real pick-me-up

As America’s cities are reeling from the dual crises of COVID-19 and this week’s protests, volunteers across the country—including in AtlantaBostonDenver, Ferguson, Mo., Grand Rapids, Mich., Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Calif., Salt Lake City, Utah, Seattle, and many others—are hitting the streets to clean up their hometowns. Their motivation? As one volunteer told a reporter in Philadelphia: “This is my city. I’m here to help.”  


Find more COVID-19 resources for city leaders here. Please suggest new resources to include here.

  • NEW Join Mitch Landrieu, E Pluribus Unum, and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program for a webinar on the role local leaders play in charting pathways to stabilization and recovery so that small-, women-, and black-owned businesses can flourish in a post-COVID-19 world. The event is Thursday, June 4, at 2 p.m. EDTRegister here
  • Join What Works Cities for a two-part webinar series on how cities can avoid over-reliance on fines and fees—which harm economically vulnerable communities—as they close budget gaps caused by COVID-19. The first session is tomorrow, June 3 at 3 p.m. EDT. Register here.
  • Join Bloomberg Philanthropies for a three-part web series that presents challenges, strategies, and opportunities in addressing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The final session is tomorrow, June 3 at 1 p.m. EDTRegister here.
  • Join NACTO for a webinar on the ways cities and businesses are adjusting their approaches to freight traffic and curbside management in the midst of a pandemic-fueled boom in deliveries. The event is Thursday, June 4 at 2 p.m. EDT. Register here.
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