Four innovations state and local governments spawned during the pandemic

The Pandemic has required state and local governments to transition services that are normally provided in person to virtual events and digital interactions. IT departments have launched new and innovative solutions to provide new functionality, transparency, and support to residents.

In St. Louis officials counteracted financial losses by keeping track of every penny spent to slow the spread of the virus by using a new open data portal that keeps track of purchases of personal protective equipment, additional IT services, COVID-19 test kits, and how much the city is spending on COVID-19 relief areas.

Jackson, Mississippi became one of the first U.S. cities to include a “cough bot” in the corona virus screening platform the enables residents to send a recording of a cough so that a machine learning powered tool can analyze it and distinguish between a regular cold and COVID-19.

In Los Angeles, as the need for resources like food banks, child-care centers, and job placement offices increased, it became more difficult for residents to access these services due to changing locations and transportation issues. To assist residents, the city put together a map of the food banks including hours of operation and who is able to access the food. They also published a “resource hub” to help accessing digital services based on user groups.

The pandemic accelerated the modernization of local governments, pushing them to transition traditional services into automated digital transactions. Suffolk County, New York accessed robotic process automation to free up the county’s nurses from spending an inordinate amount of time doing paperwork required to log coronavirus cases.

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