BOSTON (SHNS) – The COVID-19 crisis has caused “significant to extreme” impacts on municipal operations in 78 percent of municipalities that participated in a recent survey, while about 68 percent of respondents said the same severity of impacts were seen in their local economies.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst survey conducted between Feb. 22 and March 2 covered a range of topics, including the pandemic’s impact on specific business sectors, municipalities’ public health outreach efforts and local and regional collaborations among cities and towns.
When it came to vaccine distribution, 75 percent of communities said they had the financial resources to mount a vaccination clinic, but 72 percent said they lacked adequate vaccine supply to do so. A total of 117 municipalities participated in the survey, or about a third of the state’s cities and towns.
“This survey allowed our team to collect abundant data and we plan to pursue our analysis toward the publication of a research paper that includes spatial analyses,” Marta Vicarelli, assistant professor of economics and public policy, said in a news release from the Massachusetts Municipal Association. “This will allow us to assess how needs, priorities and resources are distributed across Massachusetts municipalities as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis.”