ASTHO Unveils Plan to Support Sustained Management of COVID-19 Response
April 07, 2022
ARLINGTON, VA—Today, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) unveiled a set of actionable, evidence-based strategies for state and territorial public health agencies to consider over the next few months of the COVID-19 response.
“Our public health system is transitioning to sustained management of COVID-19 and we need to pivot our strategy as a country,” says Michael Fraser, CEO of ASTHO. “Our considerations will support public health officials in the coming months as they continue to work tirelessly to protect the health of their communities.”
Critical to all strategies remains a commitment to achieving equity in health outcomes, sustaining public health systems capacity, and maintaining trust and credibility through public communication. The three strategies in the report include:
Prepare for Future Surges
- Increase immunization rates and capacity.
- Prepare for the end of the federal Public Health Emergency declaration.
- Support healthcare system readiness.
Strengthen Local, State, and Territorial Public Health Infrastructure
- Identify COVID-19 health disparities.
- Ensure readiness of the public health workforce.
- Sustain appropriate disease investigation and testing capacity.
- Implement data systems improvements.
Prioritize the Protection of High-Risk Groups
- Improve infection control practices in long-term care facilities.
- Include people living with disabilities in response planning.
- Improve ventilation and air quality in schools.
ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.