Environmental Health and COVID-19 Resource Library
As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, environmental health staff at local health departments have had to adapt existing programs and respond to new challenges. To support local health officials, NACCHO has gathered and developed resources to address the needs of environmental public health staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public health officials must work with local community partners and school administrators to ensure safe conditions in educational and child care settings.
- Cleaning, Disinfection, and Hand Hygiene in Schools - a Toolkit for School Administrators. Source: CDC. This toolkit is intended to support administrators as they consider how to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of student, teachers, and school staff. Recommendations based on CDC's most up-to-date knowledge of COVID-19.
- FAQ for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents. Source: CDC. Answers to common questions asked by administrators, teachers, and parents regarding reopening schools amid COVID-19.
- Flowchart: What to Do if a Student Reports a COVID-19 Diagnosis. Source: CDC. This flowchart outlines the recommended actions for school administrators to take in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
- State-by-State Child Care Operating Restrictions. Source: Child Care Aware. Interactive map linking to state-specific information on child care operational restrictions.
- Guidance for Operating Child Care Programs During COVID-19. Source: CDC. Considerations and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within child care programs that remain open.
- 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.
- Ventilation in Schools and Childcare Programs. Source: CDC. COVID-19 prevention strategies for schools and childcare programs.
- Considerations for Youth Sports Administrators. Source: CDC. Considerations and guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during youth sport activities.
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.
- 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.
- 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+).
- Public Health Strategies to Reduce Exposure to Wildfire Smoke During COVID-19. Source: CDC. Recommendations for members of the public to consider when wildfire smoke renders a community's air quality unhealthy.
- Natural Disasters and COVID-19: Resource for Professionals & Emergency Workers. Source: CDC. This page offers links to resources and information that public health professionals, healthcare workers, and emergency responders can use to help people stay safe during and after a natural disaster amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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.
- Indoor Air and Coronavirus (COVID-19). Source: EPA. Resources, best practices, and latest information on airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Is Your Hand Sanitizer on FDA's List of Products You Should Not Use? Source: FDA. Guidance to determine if hand sanitizing products contain uncovered toxic ingredients.
- 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 FAQ. Source: ACMT. Answers to questions regarding disinfection and sterilization against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- 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.
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.
- National Wastewater Surveillance System. Source: CDC. Information on this new public health tool to help understand COVID-19 spread in a community.
- Wastewater Monitoring Network Toolkit. 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.
The following resources can support health officials in ensuring sustainability and equity throughout COVID-19 response activities.
- 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.
Environmental Health Program
Sr. Program Analyst - Environmental Health
Public Health Preparedness Program
Senior Program Analyst, Public Health Preparedness
Environmental Health Program