"Heard you got a great pandemic plan, would you mind sharing it?": COVID-19 Pandemic Planning and Response in Local Governments in British Columbia

Date

2022-08-19

Authors

Greer, Sarah

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has pressured governments to plan and implement policies to protect their citizens and economies. In British Columbia (B.C.), all local governments needed to plan and respond to the pandemic emergency to some degree. However, due to the variations in population, region, and resource capacity, there may be a number of discrepancies between local governments. Using key informant interviews with emergency management staff from local governments across B.C., this thesis aims to identify how local governments in B.C. used pandemic planning documents to develop policies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis revealed that the majority of participants viewed pandemic planning documents as not critical to the successful implementation of policies. The analysis also identified what the participants believed worked well and did not work well when planning and responding to the pandemic with respect to collaboration, communication, staff impacts, digital infrastructure, and financial impacts. The thesis concludes by recommending that local governments develop a flexible plan, establish collaborative networks with target groups, create communication strategies with higher levels of government, and regularly review and update digital infrastructure.

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Keywords

pandemic planning, pandemic response, local government, COVID-19, pandemic, emergency management

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