Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
search
How Pennsylvania’s Municipalities and Local Officials Confront the Coronavirus

How Pennsylvania’s Municipalities and Local Officials Confront the Coronavirus

A Public Report
May 2020

In normal times, local municipal officials guide community decisions, oversee governmental functions, and represent residents’ concerns. During the coronavirus pandemic, local officials have faced increased demands and new challenges. We set out to understand the experiences and struggles of local officials, as well as describe the capacities and responses of their municipalities, in order to help them respond more effectively to the coronavirus. We hope this report helps state officials, public health authorities, and others understand what is occurring at the local level across Pennsylvania. 

A total of 1,386 officials from 906 municipalities completed the 2020 Pennsylvania Coronavirus Local Preparedness and Collaboration Survey between May 1st, the day Governor Wolf announced the county reopening schedule, and May 11th, 2020. The survey is representative of senior elected municipality leaders (mayors, presidents, chairpersons, supervisors, councilmembers, commissioners) and executive appointed staff (manager, secretaries) in all Pennsylvania municipalities, except Philadelphia. The response rate was 22.5%.