COVID-19 Frontline Guide for Local Decision-Makers

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Webinar on Monday, March 30, to Review Guide and Actions

Media Contacts

Karen Teber (GUMC),

Cathy Gwin (NTI),

Sean Bartlett (CDG),

WASHINGTON (March 24, 2020) — Successful suppression of COVID-19 in the United States will require urgent and decisive action by state, local and community leaders across the country. To support effective decision-making, top global health security leaders have released a COVID-19 Frontline Guide. Developed in response to calls from local governments for more information on how to protect their communities, the online tool features eight indicators of progress for self-assessment and seven key actions that each include checklists of decision points.

The guide provides a framework to help local leaders establish effective strategies to fight the outbreak, both by reducing transmission of the disease and by supporting their communities effectively. 

The website and guide will be discussed with the authors at an online webinar on Monday, March 30 at 12:30 pm ET.  Register here for details on participating.   

The contents of the COVID-19 Frontline Guide are grounded in existing guidance from U.S. and global authorities, public health research findings, and lessons observed from countries that have been battling COVID-19 since January 2020. It is intended to complement, but not supplant, guidance from global, federal and local public health and other authorities.

The guide, available at, is being developed through an iterative process and will be further refined and developed as local leaders share their feedback and experience.

The Frontline Guide is a joint project of the Global Biological Policy Program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the Center for Global Development, and the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security, in collaboration with Talus Analytics. 

Even in prepared cities like Seattle, health systems are struggling to test patients and keep pace with growing caseloads. The specter of rapid community transmission and exponential growth is real and daunting,” said NTI Vice President Dr. Beth Cameron.

Key Actions

The COVID-19 Frontline Guide highlights seven key actions, representing the proven points of action required by leaders and compiled by experts across the emergency response, health care, public health and health security fields. Each action includes a checklist of decision points:

  • Understand the real-time spread of COVID-19 in the community
  • Slow and reduce transmission
  • Focus protection on high-risk groups
  • Reinforce and expand health system surge capacity to sustain health care operations and avoid high mortality
  • Expand risk communication and community engagement

Visit to explore the Frontline Guide for local decision-makers, download the site content, view situation updates on the COVID-19 response capacities, and more.

About NTI

NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity. Learn more at or @NTI_WMD on Twitter.

About the Center for Global Development

The Center for Global Development is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to reduce global poverty and improve lives through innovative economic research that drives better policy and practice by the world’s top decision makers. Learn more at or @CDG on Twitter.

About the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security

The Center for Global Health Science and Security (GHSS) at Georgetown University is an academic research center that develops evidence for action, providing decision makers with the tools they need for sustainable capacity building to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies. Learn more at or at @Georgetown_GHSS on Twitter.