Emergency and Environmental Health Collaborations: COVID-19 Response
ATSDR’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) provides lifesaving guidance for emergency responders, schools, and businesses during the pandemic.
OEM served as a central coordination point for center-led emergency responses and represented environmental health issues for CDC-wide emergency activations. OEM leads the COVID-19 Environmental Health Task Force, which provides technical expertise including the following:
Guidance on reopening schools and businesses related to cleaning and disinfecting
Guidance on emerging issues such as unsafe alternative therapies and overexposure to chemical disinfectants
Recommendations for disaster relief operations based on best practices for limiting the spread of COVID-19
OEM has developed numerous environmental health guidance, health communications, and other products for the COVID-19 response. Throughout the 2020 hurricane season, OEM led the CDC Hurricane Planning Work Group within the COVID-19 response structure to adapt CDC disaster plans and response activities as needed. OEM assessed and implemented disaster shelter guidance, incorporating new best practices to address the spread of COVID-19. OEM also faced and overcame similar challenges to provide updated emergency response direction and relief after natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.