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04/20/2020
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WorkScoop

Vermont installs mobile Wi-Fi for rural connectivity

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said last week that the state will partner with Microsoft and local internet service providers to install mobile hotspots around the state to enable remote work, education and telemedicine, following the release of a study that found dozens of communities lacking any access to public Wi-Fi. More than 50 communities have requested one of the hotspots, which are being installed at public schools, libraries and community centers throughout the state, providing a solution designed to be compatible with social-distancing guidelines. “Broadband remains a critical resource for Vermonters in rural areas to stay connected and work and learn remotely during our Stay Home, Stay Safe period," Scott said. Ryan Johnston reports.


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Austin launches online COVID-19 screening tool

Through a new digital service developed with help from the software company NTT Data, residents of Austin, can now schedule COVID-19 tests, receive health advice and help the city determine which neighborhoods are being hit the hardest by the coronavirus. City officials announced the service, available at its coronavirus response website, on Friday. The nationwide death toll from COVID-19 passed 41,000 over the weekend, including 25 in Travis County, Texas. Residents experiencing symptoms of the virus are being asked to fill out an online diagnostic form to determine if they’re eligible to receive a test, and if so, to schedule an appointment at one of five testing sites across the city. Eligible residents receive a QR code to check in and receive their testing results, which city officials say compliant with federal health privacy regulations. Ryan has more.


New York IT 'SWAT teams' deploy coronavirus screening tools

The “SWAT teams” that the New York State Office of Information Technology Services formed last month, recruiting tech-industry professionals to aid the state government’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis, launched their first products this week with tools designed to help New Yorkers screen themselves for symptoms and determine if they need to be tested for the deadly respiratory illness. ITS officials worked with Microsoft and Apple to create self-diagnostic surveys that asks users if they’re suffering from any of the known symptoms of COVID-19 or if they’ve knowingly been in contact with people who have been diagnosed. The Microsoft tool can also help people schedule a test to determine if they've been infected with the novel coronavirus. More than 6,500 tech workers have volunteered to help the state during the health crisis, ITS said. Benjamin Freed reports.


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Smart infrastructure spending to bridge legacy and cloud IT

Agency leaders can look to a modern application platform that integrates legacy IT applications to work within a multi-cloud environment, says VMware’s executive Ranil Dassanayaka. By bringing together on-prem and cloud-based apps into a single operating environment, state agencies will lower operating costs and strengthen security. Read more in the report.


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