Coronavirus / COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
NEHA is closely monitoring developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and is working to provide our members and other stakeholders with access to critical information and updates. Across the U.S. and around the globe, environmental health professionals are on the frontlines of preventive public health services delivery, and NEHA is committed to supporting the EH workforce to effectively and safely do their jobs.
The disease, known as COVID-19, is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 betacoronavirus virus. Symptoms develop 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The majority of infections have been mild; however, over 45,000 people have died in the U.S. from the disease. Emergency warning signs for severe infection include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent chest pain or pressure
- Sudden onset of confusion
- Bluish tint of lips or face.
Immediately seek medical attention if experiencing any of these severe symptoms.
While the current risk of infection for most people in the U.S. is low, some regions are currently experiencing large outbreaks, and as these and other current outbreaks continue to expand, and the number of cases increases, so will the risk of contracting the disease. As a result, it is critical to implement personal protective hygiene and other preventive health behaviors such as frequent handwashing with soap and water, social distancing, and using proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
Below you will find links to information and resources to help keep you informed and reduce the risk of getting sick.
Information & Resources
NEHA has compiled the following links to keep you informed and updated:
COVID-19 Rapid Needs Assessment
Environmental health professionals are the second largest part of the local public health workforce behind nursing. To support this essential workforce during these uncertain times, NEHA distributed a rapid needs assessment to assess the environmental health activities and needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This convenience sample generated over 1,175 responses from local, state, federal, tribal, territorial, and other environmental health program personnel. NEHA is pleased to issue the results from the rapid needs assessment.
Pandemic Situation Reports
- Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
- PAHO Director - "Americas Must Prepare"
- Situation Reports and Press Briefings (WHO)
- GIS Map & Situation Dashboard (Case counts, mortalities) (WHO)
- Travel Guidance & Recommendations (CDC)
About the Disease
- Coronavirus Symptoms & Diagnosis (CDC)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Communication Resources (Flyers, Notices, Signage) (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
NEHA Issues Position Statement on COVID-19
The National Environmental Health Association encourages state, local, and federal leaders to follow the guidance and direction of their public and environmental health professionals in the effort to reopen the country after Coronavirus (COVID)-19 quarantine measures. The virus likely can be contained, and its potential consequences minimized if the insights of medical, scientific, public, and environmental health professionals are at the forefront of decision making.
The NEHA Just in Time Video Series offers a diverse collection of informative and digestible short videos to be used as a resource to support acceptable operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The training catalog offers guidelines and best practices for specific food safety topics and various environmental health situations that may present themselves during this unprecedented time. Each individual training within the series offers a clear and concise overview of a topic and provides guidance for acceptable, safe, alternative operations.
- Guidance for Keeping Workplaces, Schools and Homes Safe (CDC)
- Guidance for Administrators in Parks and Recreational Facilities (CDC)
- Resources for Correctional and Detention Facilities (CDC)
- Interim Guidance for Retirement Communities and Independent Living Facilities (CDC)
- Interim Guidance COVID-19 and Cooling Centers (CDC)
Water, Premise Plumbing, Pools and Spas
- Reoccupancy, Water Safety, and Plumbing: Critical Guidance (Purdue University)
- Legionnaires’ Disease Prevention (CDC)
- Water and COVID-19 FAQs - Drinking Water, Recreational Water and Wastewater (CDC)
- Building Water System: Safety After Prolonged Shutdown (CDC)
- Maintaining Public Aquatic Facilities (PHTA)
- The Health and Safety Benefits of Properly Maintaining Your Pool and Hot Tub (PHTA)
- If Pools and Hot Tubs aren’t Essential Infographic (PHTA)
- Extended Hot Tub/Spa Closures (CDC)
- Considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs, and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19 (CDC)
Solid Waste and Debris
Schools and Child Care Programs:
- K-12 Schools and Child Care Guidance (CDC)
- Child Care Decision Tool (CDC)
- Youth Programs and Camps Decision Tool (CDC)
- School Decision Tool (CDC)
- School and Child Care Support (CDC)
- Getting Your Workplace Ready (WHO)
- Key OSHA standards for COVID-19 (OSHA)
- Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities (CDC)
- Cleaning and Disinfection for Households (CDC)
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility (CDC)
- COVID-19 EPA Approved Disinfectants (EPA)
- COVID-19 Disinfection and Sanitization Posters (Water Quality & Health Council)
COVID-19 & Food Safety
State Specific Guidance
- State Health & Emergency Officials Release Guidance to Prevent the Transmission of COVID-19 in Food and Beverage Venues - California (CDPH)
Guidance for Food Industry
- Recommendations for Food and Agriculture Sector Experiencing Shortages of PPE (FDA and USDA)
- Food and Agriculture: Considerations for Prioritization of PPE (FDA)
- Restaurant and Bars Decision Tree - COVID-19 Pandemic (CDC)
- COVID-19 FAQs for Food Establishments (NEHA)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FDA)
- COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection for Human-Touch Surfaces (FMI)
- Takeout & Delivery
- Guidance for Food Safety Regulators
Guidance for Consumers
Related Journal of Environmental Health Articles
Click here to view a list of additional articles.
Pearson Vue Exams
Partner Organization COVID-19 Resources
- National Center for Health Housing COVID-19 Site
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Please bookmark this page and continue to check back frequently as NEHA will continue to monitor the pandemic and provide updated information as it becomes available.
COVID-19 Safety Warning from NEHA
Third parties claiming to be affiliated with NEHA have contacted a number of individuals regarding COVID-19 home inspections and have requested personal information. These parties are NOT affiliated with NEHA. Furthermore, NEHA will never ask for personal information over the phone in that manner. As such, please disregard these requests. Also, if you are willing, please share the incidences with us at email@example.com.
For more information on COVID-19 Safety Tips and Warnings, please visit the Federal Communications Commission website.