Whyte considers herself a target at a time when many public health officials around the country have resigned or been fired during the pandemic, including the top vaccine official in Tennessee this month. A year and a half into the crisis, their battered departments are now struggling to contain the spread of the Delta variant with testing and contact tracing — the best resources, despite their limited reach, in the many places where vaccination rates remain low. They are facing new heights of hostility, and new battles are looming over what safety measures schools and businesses should put in place in the fall, decisions the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said should be made in consultation with local health officials. Nowhere is the struggle as urgent as in this pocket of Louisiana, one of the white-hot centers of what has become a two-track pandemic. Only 30 percent of the more than 500,000 people in the region are fully vaccinated, almost 20 points below national figures. A recent study by researchers at Georgetown University showed that Shreveport was in the middle of one of five main clusters of unvaccinated people in the United States vulnerable to large surges and new variants, putting the rest of the nation at risk. A testing site at a car dealership in Shreveport, La., where cases are multiplying quickly.Credit...Emily Kask for The New York Times Camille Baylor, 15, receiving a shot in Shreveport. Only 30 percent of the more than 500,000 people in the region are fully vaccinated, almost 20 points below national figures.Credit...Emily Kask for The New York Times Louisiana ranks near the bottom in vaccination rates nationally, and cases are again multiplying, with the second-highest average daily useful site case count per 100,000 people in the country. “We are unfortunately the leading edge of the Delta surge,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, the state’s top health official. “We lost all the progress we had made.” The immediate crisis is confounding and demoralizing Dr. Whyte and other officials in Shreveport, where just over half the population is Black and nearly 40 percent is white, with a mix of moderate Democratic and far-right conservative politics. With so few of its residents vaccinated, the city is largely relying on the complex work of disease surveillance and intimate block-by-block, person-by-person engagement. And without as many resources as some larger health departments, the region has turned to other public institutions to fill the void. The backbone of the city’s response in recent months has been a dilapidated former Chevrolet dealership converted to a vaccination and testing site by Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, where a team of workers weaves around test and vaccination kits stacked floor to ceiling, planning mobile unit outings. The fight against the virus in the region is a study in the kind of small-scale response that has the best chance of working, albeit painfully slowly, at this stage of the pandemic, said Dr. John Vanchiere, a professor of pediatrics and infectious disease at L.S.U. Health Shreveport who works closely with Dr. Whyte. A recent visit to a chicken processing plant, where they delivered a dozen presentations to groups of workers, led to gradual uptake of the vaccine, he said.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/us/politics/louisiana-covid-vaccine-misinformation.html
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Flagstaff, AZ scales parking operations through Passport's digital platform City launches digital parking permits and enforcement with Passport FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., July 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In partnership with transportation software and payments company, Passport, the City of Flagstaff has successfully transitioned its permit and enforcement operations to Passport's digital platform. With a centralized, digital solution in place, the City can streamline permit management for more than 1,200 active permits, drive higher parking compliance rates, create a better user experience and gain access to insights and data. With Passport's digital permitting solution, Flagstaff residents have a secure method to apply and pay for permits and the City has access to a single platform that acts as a one-stop-shop for permit management, including approvals and applicant details. This eliminates the need for trips to City Hall for permit holders and significantly cuts down on manual processes for the City. Customer service at City Hall will still be able to help people purchase permits if they are not able to access the internet or do not have a credit card. "We are excited to have migrated to Passport's system," says Gail Brockman, City of Flagstaff Parking Manager. "The new permit portal will create a better customer experience and will help us to continue to effectively manage parking in the ParkFlag District." Passport's digital platform allows more than 1,000 cities to manage their entire mobility operation– including mobile pay parking, digital enforcement and permits, micro-mobility and payment processing– from one, centralized place. Data for all payment methods flows through that same system, providing a comprehensive look at the parking ecosystem. "Transitioning to Passport's digital platform equips the City of Flagstaff with the right tools and insights to simplify processes and enhance the overall user experience," says Passport client success manager, Kelly Andrews. "We are proud to be the City's trusted mobility partner and look forward to continuing to provide them with the technology to achieve their parking management goals." To set up a parking permit online, users can visit parkflagpermits.rmcpay.com/ . To pay for and manage parking citations online, users can visit parkflag.rmcpay.com/ . To learn more about how Passport supports cities' mobility infrastructure, visit the company website . Passport is a transportation software and payments company that builds technology to more efficiently manage streets and sidewalks. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Passport is trusted by more than 1,000 cities, universities and agencies, including Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Miami. Passport's digital platform helps cities manage parking and mobility infrastructure, creating more livable, equitable communities. One of the fastest-growing companies on the Inc. 5000 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 lists, advice Passport was also named to Fast Company's World's Most Innovative Companies for 2020.https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/flagstaff-az-scales-parking-operations-through-passports-digital-platform-301344221.html