Author Archive

Kate Elizabeth Queram

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a staff correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty. She most recently covered state and local government for the News & Record, a daily newspaper in Greensboro, N.C. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Health & Human Services

'It Can Happen to Anybody': When Coronavirus Spreads at a Local Health Department

Six employees at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department tested positive for coronavirus. All were key to the department's pandemic response plan, leaving officials scrambling to find replacements.

Management

Buddying Up For Quarantine: Animal Shelters Report Adoption Spikes Amid Pandemic Shutdowns

Requests to foster and adopt animals have skyrocketed across the country as Americans hunker down at home. But leaders at some animal shelters say they haven't seen the same boom, while all worry about future funding.

Management

Amid Closures, Libraries Find New Ways to Provide Services

As their branches close to protect public health, librarians turn to virtual programming and relief efforts to continue serving their communities.

Management

State Legislatures Scramble to Meet in the Age of Coronavirus

Lawmakers across the country rushed to pass resolutions permitting virtual meetings and remote voting, efforts they said were necessary to adhere to social distancing guidelines and protect legislators.

Management

Some States Stall Plastic Bag Bans During Coronavirus Outbreak

Lawmakers and some store chains are temporarily banning reusable bags amid fears that their usage could help spread coronavirus.

Management

Local Government's Still Open—Remotely

As Covid-19 takes hold in communities, local governments are transitioning staff members to telework—a first for many localities. And it's come with challenges, from slow broadband connections to a laptop shortage.

Management

Salt Lake City Cracks Down on Large Groups Greeting Missionaries at Airport

The stricter rules came after hundreds of residents ignored social-distancing guidelines to greet missionaries returning from abroad.

Management

Distilleries and Breweries Begin Manufacturing Hand Sanitizer Amid National Shortages

Dozens of businesses across the country switched production from booze to sanitizer after two federal agencies relaxed manufacturing guidelines amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Public Safety

Cities Rush to Respond as Homelessness and Coronavirus Collide

Homeless people are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. Cities are working to implement protective measures, often with no idea how they'll pay for it.

Management

Vermont and Minnesota Now Recognize Grocery Employees as Emergency Workers

Minnesota and Vermont declared some food workers "essential personnel," giving them access to child care during working hours.

Management

In the Age of Social Distancing, Government Meetings Go Virtual

State and local governments are holding virtual meetings to slow the spread of Covid-19 and trying to find ways to continue public participation.

Management

Cities, States Halt Evictions During Coronavirus Pandemic

Growing numbers of cities and states are pausing evictions to help workers who've lost income during the coronavirus outbreak.

Health & Human Services

How I Finally Got a Coronavirus Test

After almost a week of illness and testing negative for flu, strep throat and mono, a reporter on Monday is tested for Covid-19.

Health & Human Services

Exempting Breastfeeding Mothers from Jury Duty

A proposal in Washington state would allow breastfeeding mothers to skip jury duty.

Health & Human Services

The Coronavirus Response is Straining an Already Depleted Public Health System

Years of funding shortfalls have left local health departments understaffed, vacancies that become particularly glaring during a large-scale emergency, advocates say.

Management

Protecting the Privacy of First Responders

A proposal in New York would prohibit disclosure of the home addresses of paramedics and firefighters to defense attorneys during court proceedings.

Management

This State Might Require Gender-Neutral Toy and Clothing Aisles in Stores

A proposal in California would require certain department stores to eliminate boy- and girl-specific departments for toys, clothing and childcare items in an attempt to "let kids be kids."

Health & Human Services

Clinical Trial Underway for Coronavirus Treatment

It's the first test of a treatment for the virus, which federal officials said Tuesday was likely to continue spreading throughout the United States.

Management

A Plan To Prevent Drunk Drivers From Buying Alcohol

Proposed legislation in Utah would create an "Alcohol-Restricted Individual Program," with both voluntary and court-ordered participation.