CDC’s Epic Exchange: COVID-19 resources and information

As communities in the United States engage in more activities, they will need to consider the ongoing pandemic, which threatens both physical and mental health. Reducing risks in childcare centers and day camps, workplaces, and public transportation is crucial to protecting Americans. No single solution will fit everyone’s needs. However, people can use the strategies below to reduce risk.

  • What workers and employers can do to manage workplacefatigue during COVID-19
    During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize what stress looks like, take steps to build your resilience, manage job stress, and know where to go if you need help.
  • Protect yourself when using public transportation As schools, businesses, and community organizations begin providing services, consider ways that you can protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19 when using transportation. When you consider the following options, think about what is feasible, practical, and acceptable to you and meets your needs.
  • Considerations for youth and summer camps CDC offers the following considerations for ways in which youth program administrators can help protect children, staff, and communities and slow the spread of COVID-19. Encourage students and staff to take protective actions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.
  • Guidance for childcare programs that remain open No matter the level of transmission in a community, every child care program should have a plan in place to protect staff, children, and their families from the spread of COVID-19.
  • CDC: resuming business toolkit
    The Resuming Business Toolkit is designed to assist employers in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and lowering the impact in their workplace when reintegrating employees into non-healthcare business settings. Not sure whether you’re ready to resume business? Use CDC’s decision tools as a start.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: Path forward – navigating the return to work
    Path Forward is designed to help business and community leaders find the answers they need to develop a responsible reopening strategy. When will it be safe to reopen? How do we protect employees and customers from the coronavirus? Where will my staff get COVID-19 tests?  

For the latest guidance and communication resources on COVID-19, visit CDC’s webpage for Guidance Documents.

Non-CDC content is provided for informational purposes only. Inclusion in this newsletter is not intended to indicate actual or implied endorsement. Information is provided “as is.” Users are encouraged to evaluate these tools and make their own determination about usefulness and effectiveness.

COVID-19 Partner Spotlight:
Q&A with Operation Hope

HOPE Inside is our award-winning model of community uplift. We serve adults, youth, disaster survivors, and employees with financial dignity programming and coaching to equip them with the financial knowledge and tools to create a secure future and achieve financial inclusion.

CDC EPIC asked Operation Hope to share some of the challenges and successes that they have experienced while providing services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q. Have you seen a significant increase in the volume of requests for services stemming from the social distancing associated with COVID-19?

A. Yes. People are looking for resources and a helping hand to keep life as normal as possible through the pandemic. To accommodate the increased volume without sacrificing quality client experience, we’ve made it so that clients can access our services through our call center (1-888-388-4673), our coaches directly (operationhope.org/map) or through our new mobile app, HOPE In Hand.

Q. Has the Operation HOPE mission changed or evolved due to COVID-19 and the challenges it brings? Have you instituted any new programs to answer the growing needs of your community due to unemployment?

A. During times of national emergency, Operation HOPE activates the disaster preparation and recovery arm of the organization, called HOPE Inside Disaster. In these times our mission remains the same; however, our focus is on assisting Americans through the financial effects of a disaster and helping them get on the road to recovery. We are working to connect clients with local and federal resources to mitigate the challenges of unemployment. We encourage potential clients to engage with us to access additional resources that may become available.

Q. What can the public do to support the work that you do?

A. Engage your friends and family about HOPE and the importance of financial literacy. Financial conversations can be difficult. Hearing about our services from a trusted friend can be the gentle nudge some need to get on the road towards financial empowerment. Encourage others to download our HOPE In Hand app to gain access to our services which come at no charge. You can also recommend our services to community partners and introduce us to potential partners.

Q. How can the communities you serve request the services you provide?

A. There are three easy ways for communities to reach us: 1) through our call center (1-888-388-4673), 2) our coaches directly (operationhope.org/map) or 3) through our new mobile app, HOPE In Hand.

Q. What steps are you taking to ensure the safety and well-being of your volunteers, employees, and community?

A. At the onset of the pandemic, our executive leadership called for all personnel around the country to work from home as they shelter in place. This ensures the safety of all staff, coaches, volunteers and clients. In addition to protecting physical health, we have been promoting mental and emotional health among our staff through direct engagement and supplemental resources. Ensuring everyone’s safety is our highest priority.

Q. Do you have any lessons learned that could assist other organizations overcome similar challenges?

A. Yes. We encourage other organizations to maintain their mission and leverage the power of technology and social media. Many in the general public need our services; others are looking for meaningful ways to engage and make a difference. Make it easy for them to find you and walk alongside you as you provide impact to the communities you serve.

Learn more about Operation Hope.

Contact Us

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329 Questions?
Contact CDC-INFO
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348 

Email: EPIC@cdc.gov

CDC’s Epic Exchange: COVID-19 resources and information

New CDC advisory: Use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19

How to wear a cloth face covering

Face mask fit

Cloth face coverings should

  • fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

CDC on homemade cloth face coverings

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

“The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.”

Full guidance on homemade masks from CDC.

New CDC advisory: Use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19

CDC official health advisory: Severe illness associated with using non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate to prevent and treat Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Summary

Chloroquine phosphate, when used without a prescription and supervision of a healthcare provider, can cause serious health consequences, including death. Clinicians and public health officials should discourage the public from misusing non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate (a chemical used in home aquariums). Clinicians should advise patients and the public that chloroquine, and the related compound hydroxychloroquine, should be used only under the supervision of a healthcare provider as prescribed medications.

Background

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has become aware of two individuals who ingested non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate, a chemical for aquarium use that is commercially available for purchase at stores and through internet websites. One of the individuals died shortly after arrival to the hospital. The second individual was critically ill with severe gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiac conduction abnormalities. Upon recovery, the surviving individual reported to the media that they ingested the product to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), after seeing information on the medical use of chloroquine on television. The product in their possession was in powder form inside a 2.2-lb. container and labeled “for Ornamental Fish Use Only”. CDC is also aware of unconfirmed media reports that these commercially available aquarium-use chemicals may be out of stock due to potential increased demand by the public.

At this time, there are no routinely available pharmaceutical products that are FDA-approved for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat specific medical conditions, such as malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Currently, these medications are being studied and evaluated as treatment for COVID-19; however, their efficacy to either prevent or treat this infection are unknown. In overdose situations or when used inappropriately, these medications can lead to severe toxicity, including cardiac rhythm disturbances such as prolonged QT, severe hypokalemia, cardiovascular collapse, seizures, coma, and death. Inappropriate uses include taking commercially available non-pharmaceutical preparations, taking chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate without a prescription, and taking additional doses not recommended by a healthcare provider. Chloroquine phosphate has a narrow therapeutic index—it can be toxic at levels not much higher than those used for treatment—which raises the risk of inadvertent overdose.

Recommendations for clinicians and public health officials

  1. Educate patients on the serious risks of misusing non-pharmaceutical chloroquine products and other aquarium use chemicals.
  2. Counsel your patients on the importance of taking medications only as prescribed and as directed by healthcare providers.
  3. Contact your local poison center (1-800-222-1222) to report cases and to obtain specific medical management of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine poisoning.
  4. Adverse events related to pharmaceuticals can be reported to the FDA MedWatch program (https://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program).
    Adverse events related to non-pharmaceutical products can be reported by emailing FDA-COVID-19-Fraudulent-Products@fda.hhs.gov or calling 1-888-InfoFDA (1-888-463-6332).

    Recommendations for the public

    Do not ingest aquarium use products or any other chemicals that contain chloroquine phosphate. These chemicals are not intended for human consumption, and can lead to serious health consequences, including death.

    Medications like chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate should be taken only when prescribed by and under the supervision of your healthcare provider, and always according to the instructions provided.

    Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any unexpected symptoms after taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine by contacting your healthcare provider or your poison center (1-800-222-1222).


    For more information

    CDC coronavirus website
    U.S. Government coronavirus website
    FDA Letter to Stakeholders
    Banner Health (Phoenix, AZ) press release
    Dailymed for medical prescribing information
    American College of Medical Toxicology for poisoning information
    Association of American Poison Control Centers
CDC official health advisory: Severe illness associated with using non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate to prevent and treat Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)