July 17, 2020

EPIC Exchange

Sign Up for EPIC
Don't keep this great resource to yourself! Please share it with your colleagues and networks.

COVID-19 Updates

The number of cases of COVID-19 being reported in the United States is rising, particularly in the Southeast and Southwest. Evidence tells us these increases are driven by many factors including outbreaks in settings that present particular challenges, increased testing, and community transmission as well. Visit CDC’s COVID-19 website to get the latest information, or sign up for the COVID-19 weekly newsletter.

Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Extreme Heat

COVID-19 is still a serious health threat but prolonged exposure to sun and extreme heat can also be harmful to your health. If you are planning to attend an outdoor event or spend a significant amount of time outdoors, use these tips to protect yourself from dehydration, sun exposure, and heat exhaustion.

Stay Cool. Stay Hydrated. Stay Informed

For many people, warm weather is a time for fun-filled outdoor activities. However, hot weather and outdoor activities don’t always mix well, especially during periods of extreme heat—times when temperatures are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for a location and date.

Extreme heat can cause people to suffer from heat-related illness, and even death. People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to properly cool themselves. Older adults, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions are at high risk for heat-related illness and death.

When temperatures are extremely high, take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • If you do not have air conditioning, call your local health department to find any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone or pets in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when six feet of distance between people is difficult to maintain.
Link to information on how to protect yourself from the dangers of extreme heat.

Other Learning Opportunities and Resources

COVID-19 and Cooling Centers

Federal, state, local, and tribal jurisdictions in the United States considering opening or operating cooling centers during the COVID-19 pandemic can find interim guidance to reduce the risk of introducing and transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19 disease in cooling centers.

Recognizing, Preventing, and Treating Heat-Related Illness

This training will teach and reinforce awareness of heat-related illness among coaches, athletic trainers, students, school nurses, parents, and teachers. It will also promote the development and implementation of guidelines by these participants.

Heat and COVID-19 Information Series

The Global Health Information Network's information series aims to highlight some issues and options to take into consideration when managing the health risks of extreme heat during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

National Disasters, Severe Weather, and COVID-19 

Planning and preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters can be stressful, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out how the COVID-19 pandemic can affect disaster preparedness and recovery, and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

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 resources and make their own determination about usefulness and effectiveness. 

COVID-19 Partner Spotlight: Q & A with the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW)

Q. What are community health workers (CHWs)? How are they different from other health workers?

A. CHWs are trusted members of their communities who, because of their unique qualities, roles, and training, are able to effectively provide education and support to improve the health of individuals, their families, and their communities as a whole. CHW is an umbrella term for a variety of positions that go by different names, including promotores de salud, community health representatives, and many others. CHW legislation and models differ from state to state, but they share a community-based approach to improving the well-being of people and communities. CHWs can provide services, such as helping people buy health insurance, providing preventive services, helping manage chronic conditions, leading community-level health education classes, and connecting families to needed social and community services. CHWs work in clinics, people’s homes, schools, and other community settings.

Q. How is NACHW supporting CHWs in effectively reaching communities?

A. As a national membership organization, the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) is at the forefront of amplifying the roles of CHWs during COVID-19. We develop and disseminate information and resources for CHWs to understand the science and implement strategies to mitigate the pandemic. We coordinate mentoring opportunities with dozens of national CHW networks and host webinars to amplify the innovation and adaptation of CHW services during this time.


Q. How has COVID-19 affected CHWs’ ability to meet community needs?

A. Community health workers are essential critical infrastructure workers who are needed now to strengthen public health capacity to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. Yet, an informal member poll we distributed in mid-March revealed that many CHWs were being laid off instead of mobilized, which may have contributed to CHW in-person community outreach and care coordination services being disrupted.

Q. Has your organization experienced any resistance, within the communities you serve, toward COVID-19 recommendations and messages? Do you have any suggestions on how service organizations can better communicate with these communities?

A. For individuals and families to achieve their best health and well-being, they need trusted sources of information, capacity, and resources. However, historic mistrust of health providers and health systems, coupled with uncertainty about where to get factual information and massive unemployment (especially among Hispanic and Black Americans) has left many families fearful and without access to health care. Now more than ever, CHWs can leverage their trusting relationships to connect communities to life-saving education, resources, and referrals. Public and private institutions can partner with CHWs and community members to co-design, implement, and monitor their COVID-19 communication strategies.


Q. The summer months are well underway, and many businesses and services are resuming operations. Do you have any recommendations as to how the communities you serve can continue to protect themselves and their loved ones?
A. The pandemic is far from over. NACHW continues to share vital information to CHWs about how to reduce the spread of the pandemic and help people return to work safety. It begins with acting like you are infected—and you don’t want to infect anyone else. We can wash our hands frequently, social distance, limit our travel and the size of our groups, and wear a mask. Understanding that we are each our brother’s keeper reminds us all of the power we have to affect each other’s health.


Q. The COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing for the past several months. Do you have any suggestions on how people can reduce fatigue and stress they may be experiencing due to continued restrictions?

A. People who may experience stress or fatigue can have a variety of different symptoms as well as have access to different supports and services to respond to those symptoms. First, give yourself permission to focus on you for a moment. Ask, “How am I doing? Has my eating, sleeping, communication with loved ones or outlook on life changed?” If the answer is yes, know that you are not alone. For many people, COVID-19 has changed many areas of our lives. Explore ways for you to help yourself cope or learn new skills to support others.

Learn more about NACHW

Contact Us

Email Icon

Email: EPIC@cdc.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329 

Contact CDC-INFO
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348