The Local Government Association said every effort should be made to ensure local authorities could respond to the emergency by avoiding staff being bogged down with less important tasks.
Councils should also be given greater powers to ensure landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) ensure tenants are satisfactorily self-isolating.
Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: “Councils are stepping up to play their role in supporting the national effort to tackle the coronavirus.
"Acting as a fourth emergency service, local government is prioritising the most vulnerable to ensure they have the support they need.
“This is essential work in the nation’s interests. Councils will step-up, but this emergency will stretch them and their teams to the maximum as it will all public services.
“Additional powers should be added to the legislation to further support councils in their efforts to tackle this emergency.”