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DeKalb nationally recognized as tech innovator in response to coronavirus

By Zachary Hansen, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

The DeKalb County government was recognized as one of the country’s leading technological innovators for its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

DeKalb’s response was ranked 4th out of 106 counties with a population between 500,000 and 999,999 by the Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties, according to a news release. The two organizations have ranked the county’s digital innovation within its top 10 for the past three years.

Gwinnett County, which ranked 5th, was the only other Georgia county included this year.

In March, DeKalb implemented a “socially distanced service delivery” strategy to protect employees from COVID-19 infection, while utilizing technology platforms to ensure essential services were delivered, the release said. Of the county’s 5,500 government employees, about 4,700 have computers and are able to work remotely.

“Approximately 80 percent of our 5,500 employees can work remotely, ensuring continued service delivery to DeKalb’s residents and customers,” DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said in the release.

The DeKalb County Department of Innovation and Technology, which is led by Director John Matelski, was also recognized for providing customers virtual access to county data and services, the release said. The county was also praised for enhancing information technology security to prevent cyber threats.

“We are transforming the delivery of government services through innovative and cost-effective technology,” Matelski said in the release.

The county ranking was part of the 18th annual Digital Counties Survey. The other counties in the top 10 were from California, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington.

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