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.
Management

Know a Teen who Needs a Summer Job? Covid-19 Response is Hiring.

Officials in several states are expanding existing seasonal job programs to include new opportunities to help with government-led coronavirus response efforts.

Management

Libraries Begin Partial Reopening as Covid-19 Cases Surge

Most libraries are implementing phased reopening plans, beginning with contactless pickup of materials that undergo a quarantine period for safety.

Public Safety

Fire Departments Anticipate Busy Fourth of July as Fireworks Sales Skyrocket

In a normal year, fire safety officials encourage people to attend public fireworks displays instead of attempting to create them at home. But most fireworks shows are canceled this year because of coronavirus.

Management

A Proposal to Exempt Schools from Civil Lawsuits if Students are Exposed to Covid-19 on Campus

A bill in Louisiana would shield K-12 schools, colleges and universities from many lawsuits from teachers and students who are exposed to the coronavirus on campus.

Management

One State is Manufacturing Free Masks for Any Resident Who Wants One

Since April, the state of Utah and area manufacturers have supplied more than 1 million masks to state residents for free.

Management

State Fairs Are the Latest Casualty of Covid-19

At least 15 states have canceled their annual fairs due to public health concerns amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, while others are moving ahead with modified, pared-down events.

Management

Uncovering the 'Next Normal:' A Survey for Local Government Officials on the Effects of Covid-19

A new survey is asking local government workers and officials about how the pandemic has affected services, technology, team dynamics and more.

Public Safety

Lawmakers Push for Special Prosecutors to Oversee Cases Involving Police Killings

Proponents say assigning special prosecutors to investigate when police officers use deadly force can eliminate a potential conflict of interest among local district attorneys who regularly work with police.

Management

One State's Request to Pause Standardized Testing for Students

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said this week he would request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for standardized testing in the coming school year, citing disruptions and budget shortfalls from the coronavirus pandemic.

Health & Human Services

As Coronavirus Spreads, So Do Mandatory Mask Policies

More state and local leaders are passing mandatory mask policies—including California on Thursday—to help slow the spread of coronavirus, which is rising in some places as restrictions are loosened.

Management

Coronavirus Sparks New Debate Over City's Fireworks Ban

City officials in Bismarck, North Dakota may ask voters whether they'd like to repeal a ban on home fireworks within the city limits, a proposal the mayor said was partially motivated by his desire to provide families with more activities to do together at home.

Health & Human Services

CDC: Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions 12 Times More Likely to Die From Coronavirus

The coronavirus is particularly deadly for people with pre-existing conditions and continues to disproportionately affect people of color, according to data from the CDC.

Management

Is It Time to Create a National Registry of Police Misconduct?

Police officers who are fired for misconduct can often find law enforcement jobs in different jurisdictions. Some lawmakers think a national registry could prevent cops with shady records from being hired again.

Management

From Jacksonville to Louisville, Confederate Statues Are Coming Down

Calls to remove the statues, denounced as symbols of white supremacy, were reignited in the wake of national protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd.

Management

State Bill Would Grant Meatpacking Plants and Health Providers Immunity from Coronavirus Lawsuits

Legislation approved by the Iowa House would shield businesses and health-care facilities from most coronavirus-related lawsuits.

Health & Human Services

Americans are Gargling Bleach to Prevent Coronavirus. (It Doesn't Work.)

Results of a survey commissioned by the CDC found that nearly 40% of respondents had engaged in "high-risk" practices, such as cleaning fruits with bleach solutions or applying household cleaners directly to their skin, in an effort to ward off Covid-19.

Public Safety

Black Lawmakers Are Getting Pepper Sprayed at Protests

A county commissioner, a city councilman and a U.S. congresswoman attended a protest in Columbus to support demonstrators and encourage peaceful tactics. Then police showed up.

Public Safety

'A Parade, Not A Protest': An Interview With Sheriff Who Took Off Riot Gear, Walked with Protesters

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson won attention for marching in solidarity with protesters in Flint Township, Michigan. He says he knows it will take more efforts to really improve many people's perceptions of law enforcement.

Health & Human Services

Poll: Nearly Three-Fourths of Americans Would Get Coronavirus Vaccine

Seventy-one percent of Americans would get a coronavirus vaccine if it were free and widely available, a large increase from just a week ago, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Health & Human Services

Protests Could Lead to Surge of Coronavirus Cases, Officials Say

Public health officials and lawmakers worried that mass gatherings protesting the death of George Floyd could lead to a future increase of new coronavirus cases.