Environmental Health Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic
The transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, occurs primarily via direct contact with or respiratory droplets from an infected person. However, there is evidence to suggest that transmission via other modes – such as contaminated surfaces, aerosols, or contact with fecal material – is possible. As such, environmental health practitioners have a key role to play in promoting general hygiene measures as well as addressing unique information needs as the pandemic affects all aspect of public and private life.
This topic page has been created to promote key COVID-19 resources to environmental health practitioners and related professions. We are actively collecting and curating resources from more than 50 Canadian and international public health agencies, and will be promoting those resources via social media and by providing the essential resources on this topic page. This information is current to the date at the bottom of the page.
You can also find additional COVID-19 resources on our other topic pages:
- Building Shutdown and Re-opening during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- COVID-19 Management during Public Health Emergencies
- The Basics of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission
- Atmospheric Pollution and COVID-19 Susceptibility
- Built Environment
- Cleaning and Disinfection in Community Settings
- Death Care
- Emergency Response and Recovery
- Ethics and the Pandemic
- First Responders
- Food Safety & Security
- Health Equity
- Indigenous Communities
- Indoor Environments
- Mental Health
- Outdoor Environments
- Performing Arts
- Personal Protection: Masking and Hand Sanitizers
- Persons Experiencing Homelessness
- Public Transit, Taxis and Ride Sharing
- Risk Communication
- Schools and Daycares
- Screening and Sampling
- Smoking, Vaping and Cannabis
- Variants of Concern
- Water and Wastewater
- Zoonotic Transmission
The Basics of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission
- The Basics of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission (O'Keeffe, Freeman, and Nicol, March 2021)
This NCCEH publication provides a continuously updated synthesis of the basic virology and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to inform the measures taken to mitigate the spread of the virus.
- NCCEH Environmental Health Research Scans
The NCCEH produces COVID-19 research scans that highlight new environmental health knowledge and resources, which are posted in the NCCEH Blog.
- COVID-19 Research Scan (March 1-April 1, 2020)
- COVID-19 Research Scan: April 2 - April 20
- COVID-19 Research Scan: April 23 - May 8
- COVID-19 Research Scan: May 9 – June 3
- July Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- August Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- September Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- October Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- November Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- December Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- January, 2021 Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- February, 2021 Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- March, 2021 Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- April, 2021 Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- May, 2021 Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section)
- June, 2021 Environmental Health Research Scan (with COVID-19 section) NEW
- What We Know So Far About…. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Public Health Ontario, 2020)
This series of reports provides succinct brief overviews of the evidence around COVID-19. Topics covered include the effectiveness of wearing masks in public, routes of transmission, asymptomatic transmission, and much more.
- Database of public health guidance on COVID-19 (Health Information and Quality Authority, 2020)
This database aggregates COVID-19 public health guidance documents produced by a number of European, North American, and other health organisations, and it is searchable by key word.
- COVID-19 Evidence Network to Support Decision-making (McMaster University, 2020)
This forum aggregates numerous health evidence-informed resources intended to assist both decision makers as well as researchers wishing to direct their efforts into producing useful COVID-19 KT resources.
- COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Review (National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, 2020)
This webpage provides a place for researchers to share their upcoming or recently completed COVID-19 work. This effort is intended to reduce duplication of efforts amongst Canadian and international public health researchers. The results can be searched as well as refined according to topic area, jurisdiction, setting, and population.
- State of the Science Reports (CanCOVID, 2020)
These backgrounder documents are produced by CanCOVID, the network of Canadian COVID-19 researchers, clinical collaborators, and healthcare stakeholders. Topic areas include: Viral Composition and Molecular Fingerprint, COVID Symptoms and Disease, Viral Transmission, and Who is at Risk?
Atmospheric Pollution and COVID-19 Susceptibility
- The impact of outdoor air pollution on COVID-19: a review of evidence from in vitro, animal, and human studies (Bourdrel et al. Mar 2021) NEW
This systematic review combines epidemiological, animal, and in vitro studies to examine the complex short- and long-acting effects of air pollution on COVID-19 infection.
- Summer is coming: Wildfire Smoke + COVID-19 (Henderson, 2020)
This invited NCCEH blog by Dr. Sarah Henderson highlights the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic may intersect with and amplify the negative health impacts of wildfire smoke, and makes a call to action for both preparedness and addressing climate change as the root cause of intensifying wildfire activity.
- Make our communities healthier with better air quality during and post-pandemic: CANUE (Brook, 2020)
This invited NCCEH blog by Dr. Jeff Brook highlights the utility of the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) in both understanding the impacts of the pandemic on urban air pollution and planning for a more resilient future.
- Linkages Between Air Pollution and the Health Burden from COVID-19: Methodological Challenges and Opportunities (Benmarhnia, 2020)
This peer-reviewed article covers some of the key concerns and challenges when investigating the relationship between air pollution and COVID-19 outcomes.
- An ecological analysis of long-term exposure to PM2.5 and incidence of COVID-19 in Canadian Health Regions (Stieb et al. 2020)
This peer-reviewed article describes statistically significant positive associations between long-term PM5 exposure and COVID-19 incidence in Canada’s most densely populated health regions. Similarly, Zhu et al. (2020) reported positive associations between PM2.5, PM10, CO, NO2, and O3 (but not SO2) and COVID-19 incidence in China.
- Exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: A nationwide cross-sectional study (Wu et al. 2020)
This non-peer-reviewed pre-print was among the first to report a potential relationship between air pollution (PM5 exposure) and COVID-19 outcomes (mortality).
- Revisiting the built environment: 10 potential development changes and paradigm shifts due to COVID-19 (Cheshmehzangi Feb 2021) NEW
This peer-reviewed articles details an expert-led synthesis of the ways in which COVID-19 will impact the design of neighbourhoods, indoor spaces, and numerous other dimensions of the built environment.
- Access to Nature in a Post Covid-19 World: Opportunities for Green Infrastructure Financing, Distribution and Equitability in Urban Planning (Mell and Whitten, Feb 2021) NEW
This commentary examines how the pandemic experience will or must impact green spaces in urban landscapes, with the long-term objective of providing more equitable access to these resources.
- Accessibility for persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic (Chow, March 2021)
This NCCEH blog will discuss the considerations of accessibility for people with disabilities on their health and safety, and research on the experience of populations with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic , followed by implications for future planning.
- The impact of COVID-19 on public space: an early review of the emerging questions – design, perceptions and inequities (Honey-Rosés et al. 2020)
This peer-reviewed article outlines some of the unexpected ways in which the pandemic might change how cities are designed and who may (or may not) benefit.
- COVID-19 and Cities: from Urban Health Strategies to the Pandemic Challenge. A Decalogue of Public Health Opportunities (Capolongo et al. 2020)
This peer-reviewed article provides a set of “Ten Commandments” through which cities can be made more resilient and further integrate public health needs into their design.
- Design for Distancing Ideas Guidebook (City of Baltimore, 2020)
This document contains design and public health guidance on how to adapt public spaces for safe, physically distant usage during the pandemic. Complementary information can be found within NACTO’s recent guidebook, Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery.
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Built Environment Considerations To Reduce Transmission (Dietz et al. 2020)
This peer-reviewed article outlines some of the ways in which building design and operation can be improved to address the risk of pandemics.
Cleaning and Disinfection in Community Settings
- Fomites and the COVID-19 pandemic: An evidence review on its role in viral transmission (Chen, March 2021)
This NCCEH review examines current evidence on factors that influence SARS-CoV-2 transfer to and from fomites, as well as how environmental factors may influence the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on fomites.
Reducing COVID-19 Transmission Through Cleaning and Disinfecting Household Surfaces (Chen, 2020)
This guidance document provides information to public health professionals who may be consulted on the appropriate use of cleaning and disinfection products as well as frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in homes to protect the health of the public.
A Rapid Review of Disinfectant Chemical Exposures and Health Effects During COVID-19 Pandemic (Chen, 2020)
This NCCEH field inquiry highlights some of the acute and chronic health impacts of common disinfectants, and provides suggestions to balance potential health risks from exposure to disinfectants and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via fomites.
Nanomaterials as Disinfectants in the Time of SARS-CoV-2 (Freeman, 2020)
This NCCEH blog discusses applications of nanotechnology to the self-disinfection of personal protective equipment and frequently touched (high-touch) surfaces in public spaces.
List of hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus (COVID-19) (Health Canada, 2020)
This webpage provides a means for consumers to determine whether a given product is believed to be effective against SARS-CoV-2, virus that causes COVID-19. Check your product for its Drug Identification Number (DIN) and enter it into the search box.
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)
This web page provides general guidance on cleaning and disinfection of rooms that may have been occupied by COVID-19-infected individuals in non-healthcare community settings.
Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19 (World Health Organization, 2020)
This guidance document discusses appropriate cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. It is intended for public health and healthcare professionals, as well as public health agencies responsible for developing related policies and procedures.
- COVID-19 risks from handling the deceased (O'Keeffe, 2020)
This field inquiry updates the evidence since our previous review in May 2020 on the SARS-CoV-2 transmission risks from handling of decedents known or suspected to be infected with COVID-19 at the time of death.
- Death care during the COVID-19 pandemic: understanding the public health risks (O'Keeffe, 2020)
This NCCEH publication provides an overview of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 and what is known about the relative risks of transmission across various stages of the death care process from the point of death through to cremation or burial.
- Interim guidance: Death care services and handling of dead bodies during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020)
This guidance document provides information on safe handling of bodies, mourning services, repatriation of bodies, and bereavement and grief support.
- Safe handling of Bodies of Deceased Persons with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19: Interim Guidance (BC Centre for Disease Control, 2020)
This guidance documentprovides detailed guidance on the various activities involved in preparing a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 decedent.
- Considerations related to the safe handling of bodies of deceased persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2020)
This guidance document provides a European perspective on the possible risks associated with handling of bodies of deceased persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Safe handling practices, appropriate PPE and disinfection practices are explained for various settings in which persons may come in contact with the deceased, including the site of death, transportation to burial or cremation sites, storage and preparation for burial/cremation, and during burial/cremation.
Ethics and the Pandemic
- Public Health Ethics and COVID-19: Selected Resources (National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy, 2020)
This research scan aggregates relevant resources on ethical guidance for responding to the pandemic and provides a brief synthesis of each response.
- Public health ethics framework: A guide for use in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada (Government of Canada, 2020)
This guidance document provides decision-makers with tools to make considered and ethically sound choices during the pandemic response,
- Evaluating First Responders for SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Broward County, Florida (Eckardt et al., Dec 2020)
This peer-reviewed article examines the infections risks that first responders face in an area with a high rate of community transmission.
- First Responders (BC Centre for Disease Control, 2020)
This webpage provides advice and information to first responders to help them stay healthy while on the job.
- Infection Prevention and Control for First Responders Providing Direct Care for Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Patients (Public Health Ontario, 2020)
This evidence review assesses the evidence on SARS-Cov-2 transmission and its relevance for the appropriate personal protective equipment required for specific roles and activities carried out by first responders.
Food Safety and Food Security
- Growing resilience and promoting health through urban agriculture (Chow, June 2021) NEW
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people turned to urban agriculture for stress relief, social connection and food security. The benefits and public health considerations of food gardening, including a discussion of soil and water contaminants in this NCCEH blog, can be addressed by public health professionals in their practice.
- Community refrigerators in the time of a pandemic: food-sharing safety (Van Osch, Jan 2021)
This NCCEH blog looks at food-sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic and considerations for mitigating potential food safety risks.
- Food businesses (BC Centre for Disease Control, 2020)
This web page provides food safety and COVID-19-related information for grocery stores, restaurants, and other food premises based on current federal and provincial guidance. The drop down menus answers to queries around handling money, cards, and containers, as well as general sanitation and how to use disinfectants safely. The BCCDC has also created resources for food banks and farmer’s markets.
- FAQs for the Food Industry (Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University, 2020)
This webpage addresses frequently asked questions about food safety issues associated with COVID-19. It also provides tools and resources to help food services and food industry operators to reduce risk of transmission and improve the safety of their staff and premises.
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): CFIA information for industry (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2020)
This webpage provides information regarding the integrity of Canada’s food supply, best practices for those working in any food, plant, or animal production or processing, and other key concerns.
- Best Brains Exchange Proceedings Report: Strengthening the Structural Determinants of Health Post-COVID-19 (Public Health Agency of Canada, March 2021) NEW
This report summarizes the proceedings of the virtual Best Brains Exchange (BBE) held in July 2020 to help inform the CPHO 2020 Annual Report on COVID-19.
- Environmental Public Health Professionals can Support Health Equity in the Time of COVID-19 (Rideout, 2020)
This NCCEH blog from invited contributor Dr. Karen Rideout highlights the critical role that environmental public health professionals can play in mitigating the enormous health equity impacts due to the pandemic.
- From risk to resilience: An equity approach to COVID-19 (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020)
This report from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer highlights the disproportionate negative impacts on marginalized communities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. It also outlines the strategies and opportunities to address these health inequities and emerge from this crisis as a more resilient nation.
- Measuring What counts in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Equity Indicators for Public Health (National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease, 2020)
This guidance document reviews past experiences with the effect of pandemics on health equity in Canada, and seeks to help public health practitioners and organization integrate healthy equity into emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.
- Equity-informed responses to COVID-19 (National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, 2020)
This webpage provides numerous resources to help practitioners apply an equity lens to the pandemic response, which is critically important given the exacerbating effect of the pandemic on many of the stressors already impacting vulnerable populations.
- Health Equity: Promoting Fair Access to Health (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)
This webpage explains the relationship between COVID-19 and the longstanding health inequities that are disproportionately impacting racialized groups. The webpage also provides a useful, high-level guide to developing a health equity strategy.
- What we heard: Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19: Public Health Agency of Canada’s companion report (Public Health Agency of Canada, March 2021) NEW
This independent report, written by an Indigenous scholar and her team, summarizes discussions from two community engagement sessions with Indigenous partners in August and September 2020.
- Sharing the Harvest during the Pandemic (First Nations Health Authority, 2020)
This guidance document provides some additional measures and information resources to minimize the risk of disease transmission between community members who wish to share traditional foods within their community.
- Infectious Questions: Pandemic preparedness in First Nations communities (National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases, 2020)
This podcast series looks at various public health aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including action in northern and remote communities, First Nations communities, and long-term care facilities. There are also episodes on engagement with public health nurses and general infection control and prevention.
- Novel coronavirus (COVID-19 ) (First Nations Health Authority, 2020)
This webpage contains numerous provincial and federal resources aimed at supporting Indigenous communities and individuals during the pandemic.
Indoor CO2 Sensors for COVID-19 Risk Mitigation: Current Guidance and Limitations (Eykelbosh, May 2021)
This NCCEH field inquiry reviews the public health guidance around CO2 monitoring as a means to assess ventilation adequacy and reduce COVID-19 transmission risk.
Contextualizing the risks of indirect COVID-19 transmission in multi-unit residential buildings (Eykelbosh, March 2021)
This NCCEH Evidence Review scans the literature for MURB outbreaks that may have involved indirect or environmental transmission, and to examines how transmission routes were investigated and what was found.
At home: Using ventilation and filtration to reduce the risk of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 (Public Health Agency of Canada, Apr 2020)
This guidance document shows some of the simple ways families can increase fresh air exchange and use air cleaning technologies to reduce the risk of aerosol accumulation in the home environment.
Roadmap to improve and ensure good indoor ventilation in the context of COVID-19 (World Health Organization, Mar 2021)
This guidance document provides details advice on how to assess and improve indoor air quality through a variety of technical and non-technical means.
Reducing wood smoke and protecting indoor air quality is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic (Langille, Feb 2021)
This NCCEH blog examines the wood smoke in indoor environments and its health consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can CO2 Sensors be Used to Assess COVID-19 Transmission Risk? (Eykelbosh, Jan 2021)
This NCCEH blog examines the notion of using inexpensive CO2 sensors to monitor ventilation in indoor spaces and their use as a proxy for SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk.
Understanding the uses and limitations of ventilation and air cleaning in COVID-19-risk mitigation (Eykelbosh and O’Keeffe, Jan. 2021)
This webinar, which was presented as part of BCCDC’s Grand Rounds, discusses some of the recommendations around ventilation and air cleaning, as well as some of the limitations of these technologies and the need for broader COVID-19 risk awareness.
COVID-19: Guidance on indoor ventilation during the pandemic (Public Health Agency of Canada, Jan. 2021)
This guidance document provides practical tips on how to improve indoor air, ventilation and filtration to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Air cleaning technologies for indoor spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic (O'Keeffe, 2020)
This NCCEH blog provides an overview of the types of air cleaning devices, how they work and the potential risks and considerations for anyone using them.
- COVID-19 in indoor environments — Air and surface disinfection measures (Chen and O'Keeffe, 2020)
This NCCEH publication provides an overview of commonly used approaches to mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 indoors and presents three additional control measures based on disinfection — ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), electrostatic spraying of disinfectants and disinfectant fogging.
- The Role of Ventilation in Influencing the COVID-19 Pandemic (Eykelbosh, 2020)
This NCCEH blog discusses the role of ventilation systems in exacerbating or mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
- Role of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and technologies in the public health response to COVID-19 (Eykelbosh, 2020)
This webinar by NCCEH environmental health scientist Dr. Angela Eykelbosh addresses what is known regarding virus transmission over short distances and the role for ventilation and other technologies in mitigating that risk. This webinar was hosted by the UBC School of Population and Public Health Occupational and Environmental Health Seminar Series.
- High-humidity Environments and the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission (Eykelbosh, 2020)
This NCCEH field inquiry did not identify an elevated transmission risk for showers, steam rooms, or hot tubs as a result of high temperature (>30°C) and/or high humidity (>80% relative humidity).
- Reducing COVID-19 Transmission Through Cleaning and Disinfecting Household Surfaces (Chen, 2020)
This NCCEH publication provides information to public health professionals who may be consulted on the appropriate use of cleaning and disinfection products as well as frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in homes to protect the health of the public.
- COVID-19 Precautions for Multi-unit Residential Buildings (Eykelbosh, 2020)
This NCCEH publication synthesizes the evidence on COVID-19 transmission as a means to understand how people in multi-unit residential buildings might be affected and how to best prevent the spread of the virus. Additional resources include:
- A recording of the NCCEH seminar.
- A printable poster on Using Shared Laundry Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic that is also available in French, Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish.
- A podcast (Episode 18) on preventing COVID-19 transmission in MURBS, as part of NCCID’s podcast series Infectious Questions: What health professionals should know about COVID-19.
- Physical Barriers for COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control in Commercial Settings (Eykelbosh, 2020)
This NCCEH blog discusses best practices, gathered from industry and public health, for designing, installing, and cleaning physical barriers. Barriers or partitions are being widely utilized to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk in settings where maintaining physical distance and/or masking is not feasible.
- Public washrooms in the time of COVID-19: Facility features and user behaviours can influence safety (Nicol, 2020)
This NCCEH blog provides an overview of the factors that can influence the transmission of SARS CoV-2 virus in public facilities is warranted.
- Covid-19 recovery and resilience: what can health and care learn from other disasters? (The King's Fund, March 2021)
This report based on research undertaken by The King’s Fund, in collaboration between the University of York and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme, to inform policy development and program implementation for community recovery and building resilience from disasters.
- Pyschological Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of a Broad Investigation in Quebec. Phase 2 of the Survey (Généreux and Landaverde, Dec 2020)
This report presents data regarding the psychological and behavioural responses during the pandemic, along with its associations with various risk and protection factors, some related to communication strategies and media discourse.
- Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
This webpage provides a reliable source of information on the potential mental health impacts of the pandemic and resources for coping with anxiety and stigma related to COVID-19.
- Multiple COVID-19 Risk Factors Increase the Likelihood of Experiencing Anxiety Symptoms in Canada (Elton-Marshall et al. 2020)
This peer-reviewed article used survey data from May 2020 to understand some of the root causes affecting the mental health of Canadians.
- COVID-19 Home Confinement Negatively Impacts Social Participation and Life Satisfaction: A Worldwide Multicenter Study (Ammar et al. 2020)
This peer-reviewed article pooled data from 35 research centers worldwide to gain insight into the impacts of the pandemic on individual behavior and lifestyle.
- L’anxiété et la dépression : une deuxième catastrophe au Québec (Université de Sherbrooke, 2020)
This webpage describes current research involving NCCEH collaborator Dr. Mélissa Généreux regarding the psychosocial impacts of the pandemic on various populations within Quebec. The study draws on data collected international and potential measures to mitigate this secondary disaster are discussed.
- Cities for all seasons – Considerations for using outdoor urban spaces during the winter (Freeman, 2020)
This NCCEH blog discusses some options for encouraging activities in outdoor public urban spaces during the winter, while minimising the risks of community transmission of COVID-19.
- Outdoor Winter Dining during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Eykelbosh, 2020)
This NCCEH field inquiry discusses some of the challenges and possible solutions for creating safer winterized patios for use in the restaurant industry.
- COVID-19 and outdoor safety: Considerations for use of outdoor recreational spaces (Freeman, Eykelbosh, 2020)
This NCCEH publication synthesizes the available evidence on COVID-19 transmission its relevance for outdoor recreational areas. Considerations and options for managing park use are presented.
- Bike Sharing during COVID-19 (Freeman, 2020)
This NCCEH blog overviews some of the measures that bike-sharing programs have employed to continue operations while protecting worker safety and that of the public.
- Safety Considerations for Cycling during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Freeman, 2020)
This NCCEH blog considers some of the measures that have been implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to and from cyclists.
- Risk mitigation tool for outdoor recreation spaces and activities operating during the COVID-19 pandemic (Government of Canada, 2020)
This tool addresses risks associated with the use of parks and outdoor recreational spaces during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and provide examples of strategies that may be implemented to reduce potential risks.
COVID-19 Transmission from Singing and Playing Wind Instruments – What We Know So Far (Public Health Ontario, Nov 2020)
This evidence review provides a review of the current evidence concerning the potential for transmission of COVID-19 during singing and playing of wind instruments.
COVID-19 Risks and precautions for the performing arts (O’Keeffe, 2020)
This NCCEH publication synthesizes available evidence to date on transmission risks of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, associated with performing arts activities. A recording of the NCCEH seminar on this topic is also available.
COVID-19 Risks and Precautions for Choirs (O’Keeffe, 2020)
This NCCEH publication provides an overview of the key risks associated with singing in groups and the suite of precautions that can be considered to minimize these risks. A recording of Choral Canada’s webinar featuring Dr. O’Keeffe is also available.
Personal Protection: Masking and Hand Sanitizers
- Masking during the COVID-19 pandemic (O'Keeffe, March 2021) UPDATED
This NCCEH publication synthesizes the evidence on the use of masks as a control measure to impede the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This document outlines the main types of masks, their effectiveness in providing protection against pathogenic hazards, and considerations for the safe use.
- Masking and un-masking during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond (O'Keeffe, March 2021) NEW
This NCCEH blog provides an overview of updates to our new "Masking during the COVID-19 pandemic" document including new information on materials, mask fit and double-masking. Looking ahead we consider the impact of more transmissible variants, vaccination and reopening plans and what the future of mask-wearing might look like.
- SARS-CoV-2: eye protection might be the missing key (Coroneo and Collignon, Feb 2021)
This commentary discusses the insufficiently explored additional effect of adding eye protection to masking on COVID-19 transmission.
- Face shields in public: better than nothing, but not good enough (Eykelbosh, 2020)
This NCCEH blog looks at the some of the recent research on face shields as source control and personal protection, and provides a brief overview of some of the mask and shield alternatives being devised for specialized activities.
- When hand washing is not handy: Cautions for hand sanitizer use (Nicol, 2020)
This NCCEH blog provides some cautionary points on how to source, use, and safely handle sanitizer products.
- Hand Sanitizers Contamination Prompts more Recalls during COVID-19 (Nicol, 2020)
This NCCEH blog explains the safety concerns underpinning recent recalls of a hand sanitizer products being sold in the US and Canada.
- COVID-19 – What We Know So Far About…Wearing Masks in Public (Public Health Ontario, June 2020)
This evidence brief provides a summary of the literature on masking as source control, both in public and when trying to prevent the spread of an illness within the home.
- Considerations in the use of homemade masks to protect against COVID-19 (Health Canada 2020)
This web page highlights some of the concerns related to the use of cloth masks, alone or over top of respirators to conserve PPE supplies, and points to further health Canada guidance on optimizing the use of masks and respirators during the pandemic.
- Evidence of harm from mask use for specific populations (Alberta Health Services, Aug 2020).
This evidence brief examined the literature to determine whether there is a scientific basis for excluding certain individuals from masking mandates, and if so, what should be done if physical distancing can’t be maintained.
- Face Shields for Source Control of COVID-19 (Public Health Ontario, July 2020)
This evidence brief provides a summary of the limited evidence available for using face shields as a substitute for masks.
- Cloth masks and mask sterilisation as options in case of shortage of surgical masks and respirators (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2020)
This guidance document provides a brief overview of the effectiveness of cloth face masks and sterilization of respirators and surgical masks as an alternative in healthcare settings with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 where there are shortages of specialized surgical masks and respirators.
Persons Experiencing Homelessness
- Environmental public health guidance for encampments during the COVID-19 pandemic (Yehia, 2020)
This NCCEH publication provides operational considerations for hygiene, cleaning, and physical distancing to reduce transmission risk in encampments. A recording of the NCCEH webinar, When Shelter in Place Isn't an Option, is also available.
- Recommendations on Environmental Public Health for Temporary Shelters (World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
This short guidance document provides key actions to support and protect populations that make use of shelters and transit homes during the COVID-19 emergency.
- Infection Prevention and Control Resources for Homelessness Service Settings (Toronto Public Health, 2019)
This detailed guidance document provide infection prevention and control advice for staff and managers of settings that either provide shelter or services to people experiencing homelessness.
- Interim Guidance for Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) among People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)
This guidance document applies what is known about COVID-19 transmission to the management of camps or other informal settlements of those experiencing homelessness.
Public Transit, Taxis, and Ride Sharing
- Transitioning from COVID-19 restrictions to new norms: Innovating strategies to restore trust and transit ridership (Chen, June 2021) NEW
Public transit ridership decline dramatically in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to perceived risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in enclosed spaces and shifts to remote work and learning models. This NCCEH blog describes selected strategies to restore public trust and bring riders back to transit as pandemic restrictions are lifted.
- Public Transport and COVID-19 – What We Know So Far (Public Health Ontario, December 2020)
This evidence brief brings together what is known regarding the role of public transit in the public and identifies avenues for further research.
- COVID-19 Information for Travellers (Transport Canada, 2020)
This webpage provides frequently updated advice for those travelling by air, water, road, rail or public transit.
- COVID-19: Guidance for the public transit industry (Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA), 2020)
This webpage provides concise but comprehensive coverage of considerations for maintaining continuity of essential public transit services and is relevant for service providers, their employees as well as service users. Topics covered include communications, personal protection measures for drivers and passengers as well as contingency plans such as separation of services. The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has a webinar series that compliments many of these topic areas.
- COVID-19 Guidance for Taxi/Ride Share Employers, Drivers, Vehicle Owners (Toronto Public Health, 2020)
This fact sheet provides tips on hygiene, respiratory etiquette, maintaining physical distancing within vehicles, and cleaning.
- There Is Little Evidence That Mass Transit Poses a Risk of Coronavirus Outbreaks (Joselow, 2020)
This media article highlights some of the challenges to our understanding of the role of public transit in disease transmission, and some of the negative public health impacts of decreased transit use.
- Transportation and Infrastructure (Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School, 2020)
This article curates a list of how cities, states and transit agencies are adapting their practices and policies to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement (Inter-Agency Standing Committee, 2021)
This guidance document focuses on inclusion of women, the elderly, children, youth and adolescents, persons with disabilities, Indigenous populations, minorities, refuges and migrates who experience more vulnerability and socio-economic marginalization in emergencies and disasters.
- Rethinking Risk Communication: Lessons From a Pandemic (Mitchell and Beanlands, Fall 2020)
This peer-reviewed article provides a thought-provoking discussion of risk communication as a field of practice, and the need to incorporate new insights from cultural studies regarding how power, inequality and culture affect public risk perception and behavior in a time of crisis.
- Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada Social Media Resources: COVID-19 (Government of Canada, 2020)
This webpage offers guidance, messages and free images to support organizations wanting to promote COVID-19 messaging via social media.
- Infodemic Resources (World Health Organization, 2020)
This webpage provides a range of resources on COVID-19 messaging and risk communication. It also provides resources for the “Infodemic,” which refers to overabundlnce of mis-and disinformation related to the pandemic and its societal impacts.
- COVID-19 Language Guide (BC Centre for Disease Control, 2020)
This guidance document aims to assist with COVID-19 messaging and content development by using positive, acknowledging, and inclusive, rather than (potentially) stigmatizing language that may provoke fear.
Schools and Daycares
- Left Out: Children and youth with special needs in the pandemic (BC’s Representative for Children and Youth, Dec 2020)
This report looks at the under-served population of children and youth with special needs who have been disproportionately impacted by the disruption to services during the pandemic.
- Episode 11: Children and COVID-19 (National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease, 2020)
This podcast covers some of the essential information regarding children’s health and wellbeing during the pandemic.
- School Closures Impact on Learning, Child and Family Well-being (BCCDC, 2020)
This evidence review seeks to understand some of the developmental, mental health and other impacts of children being unable to attend school. A webinar was also presented as part of BCCDC Grand Rounds.
- COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in COVID-19 transmission (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, August 2020)
This evidence review reports on the occurrence of COVID-19 in children in the EU/EEA and the UK, and the evidence on transmission in school settings in these countries.
- School closure and management practices during coronavirus outbreaks including COVID-19: a rapid systematic review (Viner et al. 2020)
This peer-reviewed article provides a systematic review of the effect of school closures on coronavirus (SARS, MERS, and SARS-CoV-2) transmission.
- COVID-19: Community and Workplace Settings (Child Care Centres) (Toronto Public Health, 2020)
This tool kit from Toronto Children’s Services provides a number of resources for heightened sanitation and other measures to reduce the risk of transmission through childcare
- Living Rapid Review Update 11: What is the specific role of daycares and schools in COVID-19 transmission? (NCCMT, December 2020)
This evidence brief updates a previous review of the impact of school/daycare on pediatric transmission.
- Safer disinfectant use during COVID-19 for early childcare providers (Leonard, 2020)
This presentation outlines some of the environmental health concerns for exposures to cleaning products in childcare settings, with recommendations on how to clean surfaces and equipment more safely.
Screening and Sampling
- Looking for COVID clues in our sewers (O'Keeffe, Jan 2021)
Wastewater based epidemiology (WBE), has been proposed as a tool for monitoring the occurrence, spread or resurgence of COVID-19 in the community by detecting viral signals in pooled samples of sewage. This NCCEH blog outlines the potential application of the technology, current research, and potential challenges for widespread deployment of WBE as a public health tool for pandemic management.
- Environmental Surface and Air Sampling in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic (Chen, 2020)
This NCCEH field inquiry provides an overview of sampling techniques and analysis methods of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces and in the air, as well as considerations for interpreting the results in various settings and contexts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Are temperature scanners just a lot of hot air? (O'Keeffe, 2020)
This NCCEH blog examines the use of temperature scanners in previous pandemics and the limitations of the practice in controlling transmission of infectious diseases.
Smoking, Vaping, and Cannabis
- Tobacco and E-Cigarettes (Public Health Ontario, 2020)
This webpage features general health promotion resources for tobacco, as well as two specific products addressing the public health impacts of COVID-19 and vaping, as well as exposure to tobacco products.
- Tobacco and waterpipe use increases the risk of COVID-19 (World Health Organization, 2020)
This webpage addressed frequently asked questions regarding the effect of concurrent tobacco use and COVID-19 severity, as well as the inherent risk of social practices like hookah in amplifying transmission.
Variants of Concern NEW
Transmission characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (Curran et al., SPOR Evidence Alliance, Mar 2021)
This research brief summarizes evidence as of March 2021 on transmission characteristics of the three SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Epidemiology update. (Public Health Agency of Canada, Apr. 2021)
This epidemiological update on COVID-19 from the Public Health Agency of Canada includes daily (Sun-Thurs) updates on the cumulative number of cases of variants of concern circulating in Canada by Province and Territory.
COVID-19 variants of concern (Public Health Ontario, Mar 2021)
Public Health Ontario has produced "What we know so far" synopses for each of three main variants of concern circulating in Canada, B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1, summarizing current knowledge of key characteristics including epidemiology, transmissibility, immunity.
SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Apr 2021)
This website provides an overview of the definitions of variants of concern, variants under investigation and variants of high consequence, and details of variants currently assigned to each classification.
Water and Wastewater
- Looking for COVID clues in our sewers (O’Keeffe, January 2021)
Wastewater based epidemiology (WBE), has been proposed as a tool for monitoring the occurrence, spread or resurgence of COVID-19 in the community by detecting viral signals in pooled samples of sewage. This blog outlines the potential application of the technology, current research, and potential challenges for widespread deployment of WBE as a public health tool for pandemic management.
- Ethics and communications guidance for wastewater surveillance (Canadian Water Network, 2020)
This guidance document sets out the ethical considerations and guidance for communication about wastewater-based epidemiology, as an application of public health surveillance.
- CanCOVID Speaker Series: Recent presentations on wastewater (CanCOVID, 2020)
CanCOVID’s speaker series, which is available in its entirety on their YouTube channel, includes two wastewater talks, Canadian Wastewater Surveillance – Where are We Now? (October 21, 2020) and Wastewater Detection: the Next COVID Frontier (June 9, 2020).
- Comparison of Approaches to Quantify SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Wastewater (Canadian COVID-19 Wastewater Coalition, 2020)
This report summarizes the findings of an inter-laboratory study conducted Jul-Sep 2020 to compare methods and recommend quality assurance and quality control practices for monitoring COVID-19 in wastewater. The document highlights challenges and considerations for measurement of viral RNA in wastewater.
- Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (World Health Organization, 2020)
This guidance document provides advice on wastewater and solid waste management where SARS-CoV-1 may be present in waste streams. It is available in multiple languages.
- Computational analysis of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 surveillance by wastewater-based epidemiology locally and globally: Feasibility, economy, opportunities and challenges (Hart and Halden, 2020)
This peer-reviewed article reports on a computational modeling study and cost analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of wastewater based epidemiology for tracking SARS-CoV-2 infection in the community.
- Mink farming and SARS-CoV-2: Staying vigilant at the human-animal interface (Lee, Jan 2021)
This NCCEH blog looks at what is known about the risks posed by SARS-CoV-2 transmission among farmed mink and what can be done to reduce the risks.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Omission of a resource does not preclude it from having value.
|Last updated||Mar 21, 2021|