Are you ready? Image of fact sheet on coronavirusAs the world's attention is increasingly focusing on the novel coronavirus outbreak, APHA has continued to help spread accurate, timely and helpful information to the public health community and the general public.

Among the Association’s newest offerings:

  • A COVID-19 page on apha.org that links to APHA resources as well as those from such trusted sources as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
  • A Get Ready page that includes links to coronavirus fact sheets in English and Spanish, mythbusters and links to FAQs and guidance.

Help us elevate good public health messages by sharing these resources as widely as possible.

“This is a time when we can really come together and stress the importance of science-based decisionmaking and clear, factual communications,” said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD.

APHA has been fulfilling that role since public health officials first reported the outbreak of what’s now known as COVID-19 in late 2019. And as the disease has spread and public alarm has been growing, the need for calm, fact-based messaging has been ramping up, too. Benjamin reminded APHA staff this week to follow such infection control best practices as frequent handwashing and staying home when ill. And he’s been speaking out in the media about the need to quash rumors and adequately fund the nation’s public health system to respond to such emergencies as a disease outbreak.

CDC poster Stop the Spread of GermsAPHA also urged Congress to adequately fund an emergency outbreak response and for government leaders to follow best practices in funding and communications. The House and Senate have approved $2.2 billion in funding for the CDC and state, local and tribal health departments for preparedness, prevention and response. Their supplemental funding bill, which passed the House on Wednesday and the Senate earlier today, also earmarks money for research and development and treatment and vaccines and new funding for hospitals, community health centers and others to help meet increased demand due to the outbreak.

"We are extremely pleased that Congress has come together in a bipartisan manner to support efforts to combat this growing public health threat,” said Don Hoppert, APHA’s director of government relations. APHA also released a statement today praising the funding bill.

Because misinformation seems to spread especially quickly in our highly connected information age, APHA reached out to the CDC early in the outbreak and volunteered to help amplify the agency’s messaging. CDC officials then invited APHA to be an Emergency Partners Information Connection Partner. Such EPIC partnerships are designed to help CDC “effectively reach some of the people most vulnerable to public health threats.”

Here on Public Health Newswire, we highlighted some guidance from the CDC and others, and we expect we’ll have more such posts in the weeks ahead. As the situation changes daily, check back to see what APHA is doing.

“Every day we’re going to learn more and more. This is a rapidly changing situation,” Benjamin said in our mid-February Newswire Q&A. “We’re going to have to be flexible and fluid, innovative in our thinking.”