Environmental Health and COVID-19 Resource Library
ARCHIVED LIBRARY: NACCHO is no longer updating this webpage. This library has been made available for reference. For the latest information, please refer to CDC.gov or the original source referenced in the library.
Page last updated on March 31, 2022.
Public health officials must work with local community partners and school administrators to ensure safe conditions in educational and child care settings.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility. Source: CDC. This guidance is intended for buildings in community settings and it is the latest guidance applicable to schools.
- Flowchart: What to Do if a Child Becomes Sick Or Receives A New COVID-19 Diagnosis At Your Child Care Program. Source: CDC. This flowchart outlines the recommended actions for school administrators to take in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
- School Testing for COVID-19. Source: CDC. Customizable materials (sample letters, Q&As, poster, flyers) for school administrators to teach parents, students, and staff about school testing programs and encourage participating.
- State-by-State Child Care Operating Restrictions. Source: Child Care Aware. Interactive map linking to state-specific information on child care operational restrictions.
- Toolkit for Responding to COVID-19 Cases. Source: CDC. A toolkit to prepare school administrators respond to COVID-19 cases through case investigation and contact tracing strategies.
- Clean Hands and Spaces Web-Based Training. Source: CDC. Online training course with best practices and strategies for proper hand hygiene and surface cleaning in educational settings.
- COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs. Source: CDC. This guideline outlines strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within ECE programs. In light of updated data, CDC had added information on testing, masking, and social distancing regardless of vaccination status.
- Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Curriculum for Early Care and Education (Toolkit | Checklist). Source: Western States PEHSU. Information on how to keep ECE environments clean and safe while using practices and products that are less hazardous to health and the environment.
- Healthy Air in Your Child Care Facility (Poster | Safety Note). Source: California Childcare Health Program. Infographic and background document on ventilation in early child care and educational settings.
- Improving Indoor Air Quality During COVID-19: Childcare & School Facilities. Source: NEHA. Infographic with tips to help improve indoor air quality in childcare and school facilities.
- Isolation and Quarantine in Early Care and Education (ECE) Programs. Source: CDC. A quick guide to help people better understand isolation and quarantine, and how to make decisions about children returning to ECE programs.
- Prevent COVID-19 at Child Care. Source: CDC. A PSA video created to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 in early childhood education settings.
- Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs: A Mitigation Checklist for Providers and Caregivers. Source: NACCHO. Checklist designed to help Early Care and Education (ECE) and child care programs reduce the spread of COVID-19 among children, staff, direct service providers, and families.
- Protecting Children's Environmental Health During COVID-19 (Webinar Recording | Presentation Slides). Source: NACCHO. This webinar included three environmental health experts who discussed topics related to early childcare education and supporting child care programs during the pandemic.
- Ventilation in Schools and Childcare Programs. Source: CDC. COVID-19 prevention strategies for schools and childcare programs.
- Back-to-School Checklist for K-12 Schools. Source: Healthy Davis Together. Back-to-school checklist designed to help K-12 educators, leaders, and partners develop or enhance their reopening plans as schools return to in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Clean Hands and Spaces Web-Based Training. Source: CDC. Online training course with best practices and strategies for proper hand hygiene and surface cleaning in educational settings.
- Considerations for Youth Sports Administrators. Source: CDC. Considerations and guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during youth sport activities. (Archived by the CDC and no longer being updated).
- COVID-19 Resources for School Administrators, Staff, and Educators. Source: Public Health Communications Collaborative. A one-page resource to support social distancing, masking, testing, contract tracing, promoting COVID-19 vaccination, hosting on-site clinics, etc. The webpage also includes ready-to-share social media posts and graphics.
- COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Schools: A Step-by-Step Guide. Source: Healthy Davis Together. Guidance designed to help K-12 educators, leaders, and partners develop their own plans for COVID-19 testing.
- Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools, Appendix 2: Testing Strategies for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools. Source: CDC. Guidance centered around testing strategies for COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools.
- On-Demand Webinars: Healthy Indoor Environments in Schools: Plans, Practices and Principles for Maintaining Healthy Learning Environment. Source: EPA. List of webinars intended to help schools mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and ensure healthy air through best ventilation/cleaning practices.
- Safer School Reopenings: A guide to returning to in-person learning during COVID-19. Source: Healthy Davis Together. This guide is designed to help K-12 educators, leaders, and partners in other communities develop safe school reopening plans with the goal to return to full-time in-person learning.
- School Learning Modalities. Source: HHS Protect Public Data Hub. National map displaying whether a district is operating in-person only, hybrid, remote only, or whether the district has no data. Updated weekly.
- Science Brief: Community Use of Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2. Source: CDC. Scientific brief with an updated section on mask wearing among children and data on the association of mask wearing with new infections.
- Six Ways Schools Can Promote COVID-19 Vaccination. Source: CDC. Action steps school leaders can take to support COVID-19 vaccine uptake and improve health literacy among staff, students, and families in their community.
- Steps for Determining Close Contact and Quarantine in K–12 Schools. Source: CDC. Infographic illustrating the steps for determining close contacts within K–12 school settings
- Take 5 for Back-to-School Safety (Webinar). Source: Healthy Davis Together. Back-to-school safety checklist designed to help K-12 educators, leaders, and partners develop or enhance their reopening plans as schools return to in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During extreme weather events, health officials must protect communities from immediate health threats while maintaining efforts prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Dual Disaster Handbook: 6 Recommendations for Local Leaders Responding to Floods During COVID-19. Source: The American Flood Coalition. Comprehensive resource to help local officials and emergency managers address the dual disaster scenario of flooding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Coronavirus and Heatwaves. Source: Harvard Chan C-CHANGE. Four approaches to help protect people’s health and prepare for heatwaves during the pandemic.
- Employer Information for Heat Stress Prevention During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Source: CDC. Existing heat illness prevention programs and policies can be tailored to the unique challenges of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Archived by the CDC and no longer being updated).
- Hurricanes, Severe Storms, and COVID-19. Source: CDC. Guidance on how to safely prepare, evacuate, and shelter for severe storms while protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.
- Hurricane Key Messages: COVID-19 Annex. Source: CDC. Public messaging to help people safely prepare, evacuate, and shelter for severe storms while protecting themselves and others from COVID-19. Can be used as a resource for communication plans.
- Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Source: Prince George Electric Cooperative. A guide for hurricane preparations and evacuations during the COVID-19 pandemic. While specific to VA, this guide serves as a good model for other states or localities.
- Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19. Source: CDC. Guidance and resources to prepare and protect yourself from wildfires during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional guidance on wildfire/COVID-19 symptoms, groups at risk, and clean air space.
- Natural Disasters and COVID-19: Preparedness Information for Specific Groups. Source: CDC. As social distancing and other COVID-19 preventive actions create challenges to preparing for natural disasters, CDC has compiled preparedness information for specific groups (i.e., children, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+).
- Packing Vaccines for Transport during Emergencies. Source: CDC. Guidance and steps to prevent damage to your vaccine supply during an emergency event.
- Shelter Assessment Form during COVID-19. Source: CDC. This form can be used to conduct a rapid assessment of shelter conditions during emergencies and disasters.
In addition to health departments, consumers of food, handlers of food, as well as servers of food need to be informed of safety precautions and considerations amid COVID-19. These resources provide information and guidance around food safety in the context of the pandemic.
- Considerations for Food Pantries and Food Distribution Sites. Source: CDC. Recommendations for operations, cleaning and disinfection of food pantries and distribution sites.
- Considerations for Outdoor Farmers Markets. Source: CDC. Recommendations for operations, cleaning and disinfection of food pantries and distribution sites.
- Considerations for Outdoor Learning Gardens and Community Gardens. Source: CDC. Recommendations for garden managers to ensure a safe learning environment and access to healthy foods while preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- Considerations for Restaurant and Bar Operators. Source: CDC. Considerations for ways in which operators can reduce risk for employees, customers, and communities and slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Safety First: Protecting Workers and Diners as Restaurants Reopen. Source: Aspen Institute. Guidance created by scientists and public health officials to create and maintain safe indoor dining standards as restrictions are lifted across the country.
- Virtual Food Inspections Guidance. Source: AFDO. Resources from AFDO and states for conducting virtual food safety checks.
- Food Safety Checklist: Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Source: FDA. Checklist is for previously closed retail food establishments or those that have been open with limited service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Addresses key food safety practices for retail food establishments to consider when re-opening and restarting operations.
Considerations and information pertaining to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in indoor settings can be found here.
- Improving Indoor Air. Source: Seattle & King County Public Health.
Three ways to improve indoor air in our homes, businesses, schools, and other places where people gather indoors. Flyers are available in multiple languages and there are additional resources on improving indoor air quality.
- Indoor Air and Coronavirus (COVID-19). Source: EPA. Resources, best practices, and latest information on airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
- Interactive Ventilation Tool. Source: CDC. Use this interactive tool to see how levels of COVID-19 virus particles change as you adjust ventilation settings in your home.
- Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure. Source: ASHRAE. Recommendations based on the concept that within limits, ventilation, filtration, and air cleaners can reduce exposure subject to constraints that include comfort, energy use, and costs.
- Ventilation in Buildings. Source: CDC. Ventilation is a recommended strategy to reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2. This webpage contains considerations to improve ventilation, and answered to frequently asked questions.
- Clean Away COVID. Source: Clean Away COVID. This public service campaign provides information and resources to keep homes and environments safe during the pandemic. Various resources are available at no cost to WIC, state and local health agencies, and other community-based organizations.
- Cleaning and Safer Disinfecting Comic Strips for Families. Source: Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units. Comic strips to help safely reduce the spread of COVID-19. Available in Spanish, Chinese (simplified), Amharic, Vietnamese, Somali, Russian, Korean, and Portuguese (Brazilian).
- Evaluating SARS-CoV-2 Cleanup and Disinfection Practices. Source: EPA. Reducing the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 relies on effective cleaning and disinfection, along with continued social distancing practices. EPA researchers are working on determining the best environmental sample collection methods and the limits of detection for SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces and objects.
- FDA Updates on Hand Sanitizers Consumers Should Not Use. Source: FDA. The do-not-use-list contains regularly updated information on hand sanitizers that have been tested for lack of active ingredients, contamination, false claims, and safety concerns.
- List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Source: EPA. Products expected to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Products intended for use on surfaces, not humans.
- Safer Disinfectant Use. Source: American College of Medical Toxicology. Webinar series and online resources designed to provide information to healthcare providers about the safe and proper use of disinfectants to help decrease transmission of COVID-19.
- Safer Disinfectant Use During The COVID-19 Pandemic. Source: Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units. Information on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, in accordance with CDC guidelines, while minimizing the chance of disinfectant health effects.
- Households Living in Close Quarters. Source: CDC. Guidance is intended for people living together in close quarters, such as people who share a small apartment, or for people who live in the same household with large or extended families.
- Living in Shared Housing. Source: CDC. Considerations for reducing risk of COVID-19 in shared or congregate housing (i.e., apartment buildings, dormitories, shelters).
- Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation. Source: CDC. Resources and guidance to help ensure the safety of building occupants from exposure to legionella and mold. Additional resources on maintaining building water systems after prolonged or reduced shutdown.
- Recommendations for Unoccupied to Partially Occupied Buildings for Flushing and Disinfection to Reduce Legionella Growth. Source: Ohio Department of Health. Guidance document providing recommendations for re-opening closed or partially closed facilities to reduce Legionella risk.
- Responding to Water Stagnation in Buildings with Reduced or No Water Use. Source: American Water Works Association. This document provides a decision-making framework for building managers to design responses to building water system stagnation.
Wastewater surveillance provides community with information on the extent of COVID-19 infections in communities. “Wastewater”, also referred to as “sewage,” includes water from household/building use (i.e., toilets, showers, sinks) that can contain human fecal waste, as well as water from non-household sources (e.g., rainwater and industrial use).
- Detecting and Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater. Source: EPA. Researchers at EPA and the CDC are developing and applying methods for measuring SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater. Once developed, the methods will be used to determine infectivity, persistence, and treatment efficacies related to SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.
- Monitoring Wastewater to Inform COVID-19 Public Health Response. Source: Healthy Davis Together. Guidance and sample communications to support the implementation of wastewater monitoring and prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- National Wastewater Surveillance System. Source: CDC. Information on this new public health tool to help understand COVID-19 spread in a community.
- SARS-CoV-2 RNA Levels in Wastewater in the United States. Source: CDC. Maps, charts, and data representing all wastewater data submitted by health departments to CDC’s National Wastewater Surveillance System's DCIPHER platform in efforts to identify, prevent, and control the spread of COVID-19.
- Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2. Source: NACCHO. An infographic describing the workings of wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19), how this process can help local health departments stay ahead of the pandemic, and how to get involved with implementing this system.
- Ohio Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network. Source: Ohio Department of Health. Wastewater monitoring network toolkit for local health districts and local governments with templates for press releases, social media posts, and more.
- Wastewater Dashboard. Source: City of Tempe. In an effort to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19, the City of Tempe and Arizona State University have worked on creating a dashboard that displays emerging research about the “COVID-19 gene copies per liter” measured within collection areas throughout the city.
- Wastewater Monitoring. Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. To better understand the impacts of COVID-19 at the community level, NCDHHS is testing samples of wastewater from select wastewater treatment plants across the state to look for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-1
The following resources can support health officials in ensuring sustainability and equity throughout COVID-19 response activities.
- Best Practices for COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Sites: Disability-related Accessibility. Source: Minnesota Department of Health. Guidance to help COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites become more accessible to people with disabilities and special health needs.
- COVID-19 Health Equity and Health Disparities Resources. Source: Association of State and Territorial Officials. Resources related to addressing health equity and health disparities through response to COVID-19.
- Embedding Equity into Emergency Operations: Strategies for Local Health Departments During COVID-19 and Beyond. Source: Public Health Institute. The brief outlines case studies, resources, and priority recommendations that counties and cities can take to integrate equity into their emergency operations structures, emergency response, and recovery process.
- Health Equity and COVID-19. Source: Association of State and Territorial Officials. Solutions and ideas of improvement to support policy changes and investment towards communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- Health Equity: Promoting Fair Access to Health. Source: CDC. Resources and strategies to reduce the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 among populations.
Contact [email protected] with any questions.