COVID-19: Essential Functions of the Environmental Health Workforce



COVID-19: Essential Functions of the Environmental Health Workforce Live Chat Series

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is pleased to announce the COVID-19: Essential Functions of the Environmental Health Workforce Live Chat Series. This live chat series will highlight the role of the environmental health workforce in recovery and resilience of the environmental public health system during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the series will explore the challenges posed by the pandemic on environmental health and plans to address these challenges going forward.

Previous EH Live Chats

Cleaning & Sanitation Concepts in the COVID Era and Beyond

The science and principles of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting remain critical to reducing risks as we combat COVID-19 and other bacterial and viral pathogens. In this webinar, the WHY, WHEN, and HOW concepts behind each step of cleaning and sanitation for food service will be reviewed, including food code compliance, and meeting reopening guidelines/requirements. Subject matter experts Dr. Emily Crispell from Chick-fil-A, Inc. and Dr. Anna Starobin from Ecolab, Inc. will focus on food industry applications. This webinar is co-hosted by the NEHA Business and Industry Affiliate.

Climate Change and COVID-19

During this installment of the COVID-19 Live Chat Series, Surili Sutaria Patel, director of the Center for Climate, Health, and Equity and deputy director of the Center for Public Health Policy at the American Public Health Association, shared her expertise on emerging climate and health concerns that are exacerbating the COVID-19 pandemic. She provided insight on actions the environmental health workforce can undertake to advance health and equity in these concurrent health emergencies.

Public Health Inspections and PPE in the Time of COVID-19

This live chat featured an important conversation on public health inspections and PPE. Presenters include Kenny Fent, PhD, CIH Commander, U.S. Public Health Service serving on the CDC/NIOSH Worker Safety and Health Team and Paige Dyjack, MPH, BSN, RN with Washington Hospital Healthcare System, Infection Prevention Department.

Hotels, Conferences & Environmental Health During COVID-19

Learn more about the current state of environmental public health in the hospitality industry. Michael Dominguez, President and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International, and Peter Scialla, President and COO of Delos, shared expertise on emerging hotel operations and procedures designed to promote and protect the traveling public, the meeting industry, and employees that serve it.

Virtual Inspections During COVID-19 Pandemic

This live chat focused on conducting virtual inspections during to COVID-19 pandemic and featured environmental health/food safety public health officials who shared how their jurisdictions have been conducting virtual inspections including policies and procedures, technology used, and more. Presenters were featured from City of Frisco, TX, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

Celebrating World Food Safety Day With Dr. Robert V. Tauxe

In this lecture, Dr. Robert Tauxe, who is the Director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, discussed the state of food safety pre- and post- COVID-19 and provided his perspective on the immediate impact on current foodborne disease surveillance.

Building Water Safety in Response to COVID-19

This live chat examines the building water safety concerns as non-residential and commercial buildings resume operations with lifting stay-at-home measures across the nation. This session featured Dr. Andrew Whelton, who is the Associate Professor at the School of Civil, Environmental, and Ecological Engineering, at Purdue University. This session was moderated by Dr. Joan Rose, who serves as the Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research at the Michigan State University.

Resuming Food Safety Operations Post-COVID-19

This live chat featured four environmental health/food safety public health officials who shared their insights on how their jurisdictions are planning to handle the following: cleaning and disinfecting protocols, PPE for staff, handling lapses in business licenses, permits, and certified food protection manager certificates, preventive measures for water safety, resuming inspection frequencies, and other items. Panelists were featured from Southern Nevada Health District, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Contra Costa County, CA, and Addison, TX.

Integrated Tick Management

Integrated Tick Management: Strategies and Barriers to the Prevention of Tick-Borne Disease
This live chat explored trends in tick-associated diseases, mainly Lyme disease, that are on the rise. Ticks can be acquired outdoors around the home or during recreational activities, the risk of which will increase with warmer weather and as people seek escape from “quarantine fatigue.” Dr. Stafford briefly covered the ticks, tick-borne disease incidence, basic tick biology, and various environmental methods for tick-bite prevention and tick control. In addition, he highlighted some of the barriers to effective tick management and tick-bite prevention in the United States.