COVID-19 Response Plan Back to Menu Of Solutions

Engage the community for a powerful, bottom-up response component to address the impacts of COVID 19 and future pandemics

Protecting residents for the extended length of time coronavirus (Covid-19) is predicted to be a threat to our health and giving us the opportunity to safely open up our cities for business requires a sustained and enhanced community response. This COVID-19 Response Plan strengthens and adapts the existing emergency management resources already in place in many cities, better equipping them for a robust long-term response to Covid-19.  It proposes using the lessons already learned to update and expand emergency management plans and training so that communities can be better prepared for future pandemics.

The proposed plan proposes expanding, training and employing Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) or similar volunteer entities already in place in most cities and towns to provide needed ‘boots on the ground’ for a more effective Covid-19 response.

Use these materials to advance this solution in your city:

COVID 19 Response Plan

A Plan for [NAME OF CITY] to Return to Work and Beat Covid-19 

Plan Components:

  • Set standardized community health care practices for individuals and businesses:  Coordinating with the mayor and council, emergency management officials together with the CERT team will set standard health care practices for individuals and businesses to ensure that a consistent and amply reinforced message about best practices is sent to better ensure adherence.
  • Distributing masks to areas in need:  CERT members will be used to distribute masks, prioritizing the parts of the community where the highest percentage of people have the highest exposure.  Bandanas of suitable material that can be easily re-used with the city logo or a city sports team logo on it to build community spirit and solidarity will be provided. 
  • Food delivery for quarantined, older, and low-income residents:    CERT members will assist in food delivery for quarantined, older and low-income residents, plugging in to existing community food delivery initiatives wherever possible.
  • Form a Corona Control Task Force:  To ensure consistent and saturation level communication with residents and businesses, a Corona Control Task Force will be established comprised of the mayor, council president, school superintendent, hospital CEO, Director of the Housing Authority (or their designees) and the Director of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).  Leaders from the faith-based and non-profit community may also be added by the OEM. The Task Force will be responsible for ensuring that all communications concerning standardized health protocols and CERTs recruitment going out to the community are continually reinforced with sufficient repetition that they are driven home.
  • Expanding CERTs:  A community-wide effort will be launched to recruit new CERT members.  High school seniors will be provided the opportunity to become Jr. CERT members.
  • Employing CERT members as contact tracers:  Coordinating with local health departments charged with contact tracing, interested CERT members will be enlisted in performing this essential function.  Tracking down all close contacts that were exposed to someone who tests positive for Covid-19 and ensuring that they are notified and isolated is an evidence-based public health strategy that experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, consider fundamental to slowing the spread of the virus once we stop sheltering in place.  There is a shortage in most communities through- out the nation–a shortage that can be alleviated by enlisting CERT members. This work is mainly done over the phone and the training is accessible remotely.
  • Establish a Coronavirus Relief Fund:   In order to pay for any of the marginal costs associated with this plan, including masks, communication materials and CERTs support, cities and towns will establish a relief fund.  Crowd-funding can be used to raise the necessary dollars.

Update community emergency management plans to prepare for future pandemics: Employing the lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic, communities will update their emergency management plans to be better prepared for future epidemics.


WHEREAS, our Country is experiencing a coronavirus pandemic and Perth Amboy has the highest per capita infection rate in Middlesex County; and

WHEREAS, it is vital that residents and businesses are engaged and involved in the planning and implementation of the return to a healthy economic and civic life for the City; and

WHEREAS, community spirit and broad community engagement in return to work activities and health protocols can contribute to the defeat of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, returning to public life will require careful compliance with best health practices by both individuals and retail businesses; and

WHEREAS, coordinated and uniform communication of best practice health protocols will enhance public health during the return to work by Perth Amboy residents and businesses; and

WHEREAS, Perth Amboy government entities including, for example, the School District, the City government, the Housing Authority, the Business Improvement District, and large member non-governmental entities, communicate regularly with City residents; and

WHEREAS, Governor Murphy and a host of public health experts are projecting the need for a 300% to 500% increase in testing and a similarly large increase in contact tracing in order to begin the return to public life; and

WHEREAS, the Perth Amboy Civic Trust has presented a plan to muster community wide support to assist the City in ramping up its resources for meeting the above-mentioned needs.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that:

  1. The Perth Amboy City Council supports the attached Coronavirus Response Plan, subject to the City’s OEM Director’s concurrence regarding any participation by Community Emergency Team Members; and
  2. The City Council approves of the participation of its Council President or his designee on the plan’s recommended Corona Control Task Force or similar entity, for the purpose of participating in a coordinated and consistent communication of best health practices to Perth Amboy residents and retail businesses.

Examples of personal health care practices:

  1. To avoid getting the virus, follow these simple steps:
    • Wear a mask when going to the supermarket or on any errand outside the home
    • Practice social distancing when you leave your house
    • Stay home if you are feeling sick and seek medical attention by a video conference with a doctor
  2. Keeping safe at home, practice the following:
    • Clean frequently touched items and surfaces daily with soap and water
    • Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and then discard the tissue
  3. When receiving and bringing in take-out food:
    • remove items from outer packaging and dispose of packaging while wearing gloves
    • wipe/disinfect any aluminum, plastic or cardboard food containers before placing on a clean surface