The Massachusetts Municipal Management Association held a virtual meeting on Aug. 27 focusing on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and how local leaders are managing during the ongoing public health crisis.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone were joined by Dr. Paul Biddinger, chief of emergency preparedness at Mass General Brigham.

Driscoll discussed the ways her city is keeping residents informed and how they are working to engage with their most vulnerable populations, including Salem’s students.

Curtatone expressed similar concerns for his city’s residents and highlighted the need for all local government managers to show leadership.

Both mayors stressed the importance of local leaders working together and speaking with one voice at the state and federal level.

Biddinger addressed some recent claims about COVID-19 therapies, cautioning that there is still no FDA-approved treatment for the virus. He encouraged attendees to establish flu vaccine protocols in their cities and towns this fall, as these protocols can serve as a template for when there is a COVID vaccine.

All three speakers discussed the need to look at and respond to the pandemic on a regional basis. Viewing each community’s individual numbers doesn’t present an accurate picture, they said.

More than 65 town managers and assistants participated in the meeting, facilitated by Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine.

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