This page offers a compilation of COVID-19-related resources, information, and news. The content on this page is reviewed and updated as new information becomes available.
Page last updated on 9/21/20
The Public Health Accreditation Board is a member of the VoteSAFE Public Health coalition. VoteSAFE Public Health includes 10 national public health organizations working to assure all Americans have the opportunity to safely vote in the 2020 election and prevent transmission of COVID-19. The primary areas of focus include:
- Develop and promote “safe voting” methods and guidance and provide public health technical assistance to election officials in creating safer polling places on Election Day.
- Support efforts to recruit an expanded workforce of poll workers and assure their safe participation and service.
- Coordinate and amplify coalition-based communications and education efforts with partner agencies and organizations to strengthen public health and safety messages related to the election.
- Encourage voter participation on Election Day through:
- Promotion of an individual and family “Safe Voting Plan.”
- Share information on the importance of and relationship between a healthy, engaged electorate and a “healthy” democracy.
- Provide get-out-the-vote materials to public health agencies for dissemination in the communities in which they work.
Click here for more information.
On March 18, 2020, the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic prompted PHAB to issue a 90-day extension to help alleviate the stress of accreditation-related deadlines for health departments currently engaged in the initial and reaccreditation processes. To inform planning accreditation activities after that extension, PHAB fielded a survey of health departments and site visitors in May/June 2020. Based on the results of that survey and in order to provide flexibility for health departments during the response to COVID-19 pandemic, PHAB has incorporated several changes in the accreditation process and requirements that will be in effect from August 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
TWO NEW RESOURCES FROM PHAB!
JPHMP Direct, May 26, 2020. In this new blog, PHAB shares ways the national standards provide a roadmap for how health departments promote health in their communities every day—and especially in times of public health emergencies. The next phase of health departments’ response to COVID-19 depends on their capacity to effectively scale up contact tracing.
Released in May, PHAB’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program Checklists were developed to support accredited health departments’ COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. In response to the positive feedback, PHAB is now making these available to the field in PDF and Word versions. The checklists itemize key elements of a COVID-19 contact tracing program and focus on those elements that must especially be considered for a rapid expansion of the number of contact tracers conducting COVID-19 investigations and follow-up. Depending on local circumstances and resources, contact tracing initiatives are likely to take many forms. However, PHAB’s checklists will benefit health departments no matter how they are implementing COVID-19 contact tracing in their jurisdictions. For more information and to access the checklists, click here.
Other Contact Tracing Resources
- From PHF: Health departments can now receive a customized package of online training for their COVID-19 contact tracers. Learn more about this free service from the Public Health Foundation at www.phf.org/contacttracing, or fill out this quick and easy form to indicate the trainings you’d like to include for your COVID-19 contact tracing workforce.
- ASTHO and NCSD’s Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers, provides an introductory, online training opportunity to help health departments rapidly train entry-level contact tracers.
- CDC’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training includes Guidance, Resources and a Sample Training Plan.
- CDC’s new consumer-facing page on contact tracing.
- CDC’s COVID-19 Service Corps emergency response online job site.
- Purdue University Global’s free COVID-19 Contact Tracing Course provides self-guided instruction consisting of five online bundles and can be completed in 6 to 8 hours.
- NACCHO/ASTHO/George Washington University’s Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator helps gauge the number of staff needed to effectively trace contacts of all infected people in a jurisdiction.
- Johns Hopkins University’s free COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training provides online, beginner-level instruction.
ACCREDITED HEALTH DEPARTMENTS’ ROLE IN THE PANDEMIC RESPONSE
Feature Stories: A running compilation of news stories gathered from various local and national news source highlighting the commitment and dedication of PHAB-accredited health departments in the time of COVID-19.
Health Affairs Blog: No Longer Invisible: The Critical Role of Local Health Departments in Responding to COVID-19, published April 16, 2020 and co–authored by PHAB Director of Research and Evaluation Jessica Kronstadt.
de Beaumont Foundation feature: Why Public Health Matters, helps tell the story of the public health response to the pandemic through 60-second videos contributed by public health workers. Includes PHAB President and CEO Dr. Paul Kuehnert discussing how PHAB accreditation bolsters health departments’ emergency preparedness efforts.
THE LINK BETWEEN ACCREDITATION AND PREPAREDNESS
PHAB Brief, Strengthening the Foundation for Public Health Emergency Preparedness, released in April, highlights some of the ways preparing for accreditation has helped accredited health departments strengthen the tools needed in a response effort.
Accreditation documentation related to COVID-19 response and preparedness. The following resources provide insights about COVID-19 related examples that could potentially be included as documentation for PHAB.
- Addendum: PHAB Scope Guidance Pertaining to COVID-19 Activities. This is an addendum to PHAB’s guidance about appropriate examples to submit for documentation.
- PHAB Webinar, A Conversation on Accreditation with PHAB, presented as part of the phPIN Monthly Webinar Series on May 18, 2020, includes a selection of standards that might be particularly relevant to COVID-19 response efforts (registration in the phPIN network required)
News Story: Sacramento County public health lab faced years of budget cuts. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, published in The Sacramento Bee, April 27, 2020. This story includes an interview with PHAB President and CEO Dr. Paul Kuehnert and highlights the important link between accreditation and access to funding, expertise, and other resources necessary for a successful COVID-19 response.
Innovation and COVID-19:
Health departments have been innovating as part of their COVID-19 response efforts. PHNCI is collecting and sharing innovation stories and messages from health departments. Read stories and submit yours here. PHNCI also has resources to support health departments in their innovation efforts. Visit PHNCI’s webpage here to learn more.
EXAMPLES OF QUALITY IMPROVEMENT (QI) WORK DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS
QI project shared by Franklin County Health Department in Frankfort, Kentucky: COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Storyboard
NIHB has released the following new facts sheets on the NIHB COVID-19 Resource Center, found under Community Health Tools.
- Caution Fatigue during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Case Investigation & Contact Tracing
- COVID-19 & Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children
- Reopening During COVID-19: Considerations for Tribal Nations
- UPDATED: How We Talk About COVID-19
PHF (Public Health Foundation) has developed a live search tool for training related to COVID-19 available through the TRAIN Learning Network. The searches will automatically update as new training is added to TRAIN. Access COCA calls and other training from CDC, the World Health Organization, and other training providers.