Built Environment


Recognizing the health impacts of the natural and human-made surroundings in which we live, work, and play.

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An introduction to SARS-CoV-2

The emergence of a novel coronavirus in late 2019, now identified as SARS-CoV-2, has resulted in a global pandemic with an unprecedented public health response. This brief review of the properties of…
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Best Safety and Hygiene Practices for Public Workspaces in the COVID-19 Environment

The National Academies’ Federal Facilities Council invites you to join us for a webinar on Tuesday, June 23 from 2-3pm ET on the challenges of operating workplaces with a public interaction component…
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Bike Sharing During COVID-19

Bicycle-sharing services (bike shares) allow individuals to use bicycles on membership or fee-per-trip bases and can be a convenient, inexpensive alternative to owning a bicycle. These services may…
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Building Shutdown and Re-opening during the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the extended “new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be necessary to periodically close public buildings and facilities, followed by re-opening when safe again. Periods of low or no…
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Connecting for active communities during COVID-19 and beyond

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, B.C. residents have been encouraged to stay as active as possible while remaining physically distant. What can we learn from others around the province at…
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COVID-19 and outdoor safety: Considerations for use of outdoor recreational spaces

[NOTE:a printer friendly version of this document is attached at the bottom] Introduction Outdoor recreational spaces make important contributions to social well-being as well as physical and…
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COVID-19 in indoor environments — Air and surface disinfection measures

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of workplaces, public facilities, retail and commercial spaces, entertainment venues, and other indoor spaces where groups of people congregate. As cities…
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COVID-19 Precautions for Multi-unit Residential Buildings

The transmission of COVID-19, which occurs primarily through close contact with an infected person, has made it necessary for large proportions of the world’s population to self-isolate in their…
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COVID-19 Precautions for Multi-unit Residential Buildings

Multi-unit residential buildings bring together tens to hundreds of people within the same building envelope and in contact with many of the same surfaces. Although we know that COVID-19 is primarily…
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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…
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Environmental public health guidance for encampments during the COVID-19 pandemic

To prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, public health guidance promotes physical distancing, staying home when ill, good hand hygiene and environmental…
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Make our communities healthier with better air quality during and post-pandemic: CANUE

The abrupt change in our lives brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is and will continue to affect us all deeply.  There are obvious changes of limited movement and social interaction with many…
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Moving Beyond the Farebox: Rethinking how we move, how resilient our systems are, and what the future of our communities looks like

Why was our public transit infrastructure under threat of financial collapse because of COVID-19? Are we funding our priorities sustainably? Has COVID-19 highlighted system vulnerabilities that…
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Reducing COVID-19 Transmission Through Cleaning and Disinfecting Household Surfaces

Background The primary mode of human-to-human transmission for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is via direct contact with an infected person and their…
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Summer is coming: Wildfire Smoke + COVID-19

It is meant as an ominous threat when characters in the popular Game of Thrones series utter “winter is coming”, and I feel the same way about the summer of 2020. The catastrophic wildfire seasons of…
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Using Hand Sanitizers Safely During the COVID-19 pandemic

Hand sanitizer use continues to be prevalent during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, increased use and new formulations have led to accidents and sparked concerns over safety. The NCCEH has developed…
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Using Shared Laundry Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Although COVID-19 is primarily spread by direct contact with an infected person or their respiratory droplets, it may also be possible to transmit the virus by touching a contaminated surface, and…
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When hand washing is not handy: Cautions for hand sanitizer use

Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective strategy for removing the COVID-19 virus from hands. In some situations, hand sanitizers can be used as a substitute if…
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