NACCHO has been releasing bi-weekly blogs consisting of an up-to-date collection of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) resources for our members working at the intersection of environmental health and COVID-19. See past resource roundups here.
- Launched today! New COVID-19 Resource Library for Environmental Health Professionals: Environmental health departments have had to rapidly adapt their existing programs during COVID-19 to ensure that critical public health functions are carried out, including food safety inspections and extreme weather response. However, many important environmental health activities, such as lead hazard control, may still have been postponed or even halted during the pandemic given resource constraints like lack of funding or limited staff availability. To support continuity in local environmental programs, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has compiled evergreen resources from their federal, state, and local partners, as well as from non-governmental organizations and think tanks, to address the needs of environmental health staff during the pandemic. The resources can be access via this free, open-access Environmental Health and COVID-19 Resource Library.
- [Today at 3 PM ET] NACCHO Webinar - Protecting Children’s Environmental Health During COVID-19: Supporting Child Care Programs: Join the National Association of County and City Health Officials from 3 to 4 PM EDT to learn more about environmental health in early childcare settings during the pandemic. This webinar will cover: (1) unique considerations for children’s environmental health in underserved communities; (2) success strategies and continued gaps in protecting children’s health during concurrent public health emergencies, including COVID-19 and extreme weather; and (3) coordination strategies among states, local health departments, and daycares and other early childcare settings during COVID-19. Send your questions ahead of time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The American Camp Association and NACCHO welcomed public health officials and camp directors to attend a free 90-min Town Hall style webinar to hear the latest guidance from CDC for camp operations. In addition, a case discussion was presented on the collaborative experience of the Virginia Department of Health and camp community as well as a presentation on the latest updates to the Field Guide. Here is a link to the Town Hall Recording: https://vimeo.com/539424456/7d68b88e4c.
- NACCHO Webinar: COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases: This webinar on Tuesday, May 4, 3:00-4:00 pm ET will cover vaccine breakthrough cases, including what we know about COVID illness after vaccination and case investigations and reporting. A presenter from the Chicago Department of Health will also discuss the findings highlighted in a recent MMWR: Postvaccination SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among Skilled Nursing Facility Residents and Staff Members — Chicago, Illinois, December 2020–March 2021. Register here.
From the Public Health Communications Collaborative
Join the Collaborative on May 13 from 1 pm ET for a free webinar focused on COVID-19 travel safety communications.
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Updated or New Guidance in Environmental Health and School Safety
- Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps During COVID-19
- Considerations for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in K-12 Schools and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) (updated April 22, 2021)
- Health Equity in Action (updated April 14, 2021)
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
HHS has released a Communication Toolkit for Essential Workers in Agriculture: The toolkit is available in English and en español (Spanish) and provides employers access to materials developed in collaboration with the CDC and trusted partners to help them communicate with farmworkers on the latest COVID-19 prevention and vaccination information.
From the American College of Medical Toxicology and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU)
Webinar: Safer Disinfectant Use & COVID-19 Webinar: Hand Sanitizers: Hand hygiene is an integral part of the response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. On May 5 at 3 pm ET, experts will discuss issues associated with the increased demand for hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemic. New and increasing safety concerns with hand sanitizers, including accidental ingestion by young children, contamination with methanol or 1-propanol, and ocular injuries, will be discussed. This webinar will qualify for Continuing Education (CE) for healthcare professionals through the Centers for Disease Control. Instructions for claiming CE will be provided upon completion of the webinar.
From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Notice of Funding Opportunity: EPA anticipates that up to approximately $10.5 million may be made available through the 2021 EJ Small Grants and EJ Collaborative Problem-Solving funding opportunities. These potential additional funds can be used for COVID-19 projects specifically to address clean air issues and/or training for a safe drinking water workforce. The deadline for both opportunities has been extended to June 1, 2021.
- [Webinar] Asthma-Friendly Schools: Strategies to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission and Improve Indoor Air Quality. Join this webinar on May 6 at 1 pm EDT to “utilize guidance and tools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to choose safer disinfectants, effectively clean school facilities, and provide recommended ventilation and filtration to not only mitigate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission but to create healthy learning environments for all students and staff, including those with asthma.”
From the COVID Collaborative, Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Brown School of Public Health, and New America Task Force
New resources have been released to help schools implement CDC guidance focused on infection prevention and control, including a roadmap of helpful case studies, a consensus statement from leading scientists on the science of how to best protect students and staff, and a use of funds memo outlining how to strategically use authorized funds. https://www.covidcollaborative.us/infection-prevention-and-control-in-schools