NEHA Announces Launch of COVID-19 Early Care and Education Collaborative

NEHA News Release


Release Date: 
October 14, 2020

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Supports Launch of Environmental Health COVID-19 Early Care and Education Collaborative to Support Children's Health

Denver, CO—Meeting the urgent needs resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has awarded support for a collaborative of public health partners to work in coordination to advance environmental health capacity to implement COVID-19 guidance and safe practices in early care and education (ECE) facilities. The partner organizations include the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH).

As we have seen, environmental health practices play an important role in reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in our communities, specifically environmental health practices around sanitation, disinfection, food safety, and other related considerations for the ECE environment. The need for guidance on cleaning practices is especially necessary in ECE facilities, where many children spend a majority of their active hours during the day and may be at increased risk for exposure to COVID-19 and other environmental health hazards. Children are more susceptible to environmental health hazards than adults due to a smaller body weight, underdeveloped brain and immune system, and an increased tendency to put their hands in their mouths. Resources developed from this project will provide ECE providers and health departments with the ability to improve environmental health for children during COVID-19, supporting their critical roles in protecting children’s health.

“Environmental health professionals play a critical assurance role in the health and safety of families at this time in our nation’s history,” said Dr. David Dyjack, NEHA executive director. “We are honored to facilitate this collaborative that will provide tools and resources to the environmental health workforce in support of our efforts to ensure every child reaches their full potential free from recognized risks in the environment.”

Read the full press release to learn more about the partner organizations and the importance of this effort.


About the National Environmental Health Association

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is a professional society with more than 6,000 governmental, private, academic, and uniformed services sector environmental health professionals in the U.S., its territories, and internationally. NEHA is the profession's strongest advocate for excellence in the practice of environmental health as it delivers on its mission to build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce.  This mission is fulfilled in the products and services offered by NEHA to advance the environmental health professional through credentialing, training, education, networking, professional development, and policy involvement opportunities. Learn more about NEHA at