Cities across the country are trying to get more of their citizens access to the Internet during the COVID-19 crisis, with essential services such as medicine and education moving online as residents stay home.
As people are confined to their homes, many have been drawn to social media where they’re encouraged to share information about themselves, like their pets’ names, the types of cars they’ve owned, and their mothers’ maiden names.
As the COVID-19 crisis took hold and schools in Lockhart, Texas, had to close and shift to remote learning, the school district quickly conducted a needs assessment. They found that half of their 6,000 students have no high-speed Internet at home.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded nearly $165 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. These investments will support 1,779 small rural hospitals and provide additional funding to 14 HRSA-funded Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) to provide technical assistance on telehealth to help rural and underserved areas combat COVID-19.
Along with Apple, Google and other entities around the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing mobile software and an online tool for governments to trace and publicize COVID-19 cases.