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.

Please share this email with other local decision makers—they can subscribe here. And please reach out with any suggestions for content you'd like to see or tips on the latest actions from your city.

Survey: Food insecurity on the rise in America’s cities

With unemployment rates exceeding those during the Great Depression, unprecedented interruptions in the food supply, school closures, and price hikes—more than 90 percent of America’s mayors now say demand at food banks and pantries is skyrocketing as well, according to a new poll from The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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Johns Hopkins' confirmed U.S. COVID-19 cases as of 8 a.m. EDT on May 21.
(up 23,192 from May 20)
(up 1,501 from May 20)
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: Would shorter shifts reduce risk for employees?

The CDC recommends that employers take steps to ensure that workers are not too fatigued to work safely. One option is scheduling shorter shifts for physically and mentally demanding workloads. However, make sure that schedule or shift changes don’t have unintended safety risks for workers. For example, replacing fewer, longer shifts with shorter, more frequent shifts could put workers at greater risk if they then need to commute more frequently via public transportation. When considering shifts in schedules, consult with workers to be sure you are taking all potential effects on worker safety into account.
Read more FAQs


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

  • Lincoln, Neb., Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird praises individual businesses for taking measures to ensure safe operations during the pandemic.  
  • In Memphis, Tenn., Mayor Jim Strickland proposes a plan to increase the number of city employees receiving hazard pay. This measure could benefit 5,400 city employees.
  • Nashville, Tenn., Mayor John Cooper names an informal advisory group that will be tasked with securing additional relief funds for the city. 
  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reissues an order to prevent utility shut-offs and the enforcement of parking regulations.
  • Kent, Wash., lays off 37 full-time employees across all city departments. 
  • Seattle’s city council requests that Washington state provide $100 million in COVID-19 relief funding for undocumented residents who didn’t receive a stimulus check.
  • Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announces a $20-million emergency fund for COVID-19 relief, which will prioritize housing and food assistance.
  • Chicago's city council passes a “parade of ordinances” to help businesses and residents, including one that provides free rent to airport concessionaires and another that prevents employers from firing, demoting, or reducing the pay of employees who have COVID-19, are under quarantine or isolation, or caring for someone who is. 
Mayor Nuatali Nelmes: In her own words

As the city of Newcastle, Australia, looks to support its residents in the face of COVID-19, it’s also ensuring those supports reflect “the value and importance of community wellbeing at this challenging and unprecedented time,” says Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes in this video. So far, that means rent relief, interest-free loans, free online job retraining, and more. “This is only the beginning of our response,” Nelmes added.

How is your city pivoting in the face of the COVID-19 crisis? We’d love to know. Post a selfie video like Mayor Nelmes' and tag @BloombergCities.


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

  • NEW 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 Wednesday, June 3 at 3 p.m. EDT. Register here.
  • Join NACTO for a conversation about how cities are reimagining the street as a place for outdoor eating, allowing restaurants to make up for lost seating capacity with outside tables. The webinar is tomorrow, May 22 at 1 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 second session is Wednesday, May 27 at 1 p.m. EDT. Register here.
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