15 imperatives to address the COVID-19 emergency

Recovering from the pandemic and planning for the future

We applaud the efforts to date to create solutions for responding and recovering to COVID-19; however, these solutions continue to be rooted in traditional public health principles. Learn more about 15 imperatives for public health policy that we envision will help strengthen the ability to contain the pandemic and prevent future crises.

Actions to enable response, recovery, and preparation for future health crises

Public health departments, health care workers, and leaders across the public and private sectors have worked tirelessly to respond to the virus; however, at the beginning of 2021, the pandemic entered an increasingly deadly phase.

While the national figures are staggering, the impacts are felt most at an individual and local level. It is a daunting task to stem the toll of the pandemic within individual communities while meaningfully addressing this national public health crisis. Across the United States, we must empower health systems to offer critical pharmacological interventions while also enabling localities to implement nonpharmacological interventions that meet the unique contours of the crisis in their community.

Our experience in working with clients across the public and private sectors throughout the pandemic suggests that, to make progress toward ending the pandemic and preventing future crises, there are three distinct needs—and 15 imperatives—to consider:

Respond to the immediate crisis: Accelerate strategies to increase vaccinations, testing, and genetic sequencing while reducing the pressure on health systems experiencing outbreaks through shifting resources, leveraging technology, and adjusting communication strategies to limit misinformation and build trust.

  • Empower effective local distribution, administration, and promotion of vaccines
  • Expand symptomatic and screening testing nationwide
  • Dramatically increase genetic sequencing of positive test results
  • Surge capacity in targeted geographies
  • Scale virtual health solutions
  • Launch targeted communications campaign

Enable recovery in our communities: Implement strategies that will allow local communities to not only suppress the virus, but also begin to return to pre–COVID-19 operations.

  • Sustain funding for local response efforts
  • Implement locally tailored COVID-19 guidelines
  • Scale digital contract tracing tools
  • Make COVID-19 data more timely, accessible, and actionable

Strengthen public health resilience: Integrate lessons learned from the pandemic to address identified gaps in our public health infrastructure.

  • Strengthen public health surveillance systems
  • Expand sustainable work and school models prepared for future crises
  • Launch digital health credentials solutions
  • Strengthen vaccine development infrastructure
  • Target preventative care programming high-risk communities

Organizations should explore strategies that will not only combat this crisis, but also lay the foundation for building a better public health system. By creating tools that can aid in implementing strategies with precision, leveraging the power of a cohesive, centralized response, and deploying it through innovative methods, our nation could be better positioned to support individuals, businesses, and communities across the country and around the world.

15 imperatives to effectively address the COVID-19 emergency
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