CDC in Action

CDC is aggressively responding to the global outbreak of COVID-19 and community spread in the United States.

Preparing first responders, healthcare providers, and health systems

  • Establishing visibility across healthcare systems to understand healthcare use, particularly surges in demand for medical care and associated resources.
  • Conducting extensive outreach to clinical and hospital professional organizations to ensure health system preparedness.
  • Producing 100 guidance documents on infection control, hospital preparedness assessments, personal protective equipment (PPE) supply planning, and clinical evaluation and management (as of April 24, 2020).
    • Working closely with healthcare facilities and providers to reinforce infection control principles that recognize PPE is one component of a larger set of practices that help to limit the spread of disease.
    • Developing a range of respirator conservation strategies, including strategies to make supplies last longer (such as using alternative products like reusable respirators) and extending the use of disposable respirators.
  • Leveraging existing telehealth tools to direct people to the right level of healthcare for their medical needs.
  • Working with supply chain partners to understand supply usage, what products are available, and when more aggressive measures may need to be taken to ensure that healthcare workers at highest risk have access to PPE.
  • Sharing information with stakeholders to help them recognize when to shift the strategies they are using.
CDC Responds to COVID-19

CDC Responds to COVID-19

Reinforcing state, territorial, and local public health readiness

  • Assessing state and local readiness to implement community mitigation measures like home containment, including housing and transportation needs.
  • Coordinating with states to identify and mitigate gaps in readiness that will help reduce the spread of disease in the community while protecting workers, infrastructure, and institutions.
  • Linking public health agencies and healthcare systems to identify and mitigate stressors to the health system.
  • Tracking stockpiles of PPE across jurisdictions.
  • Working with state and local public health to use existing Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) funding to support COVID-19 preparedness and response activities.
  • Leveraging funding mechanisms to help states accelerate preparedness activities.
  • Providing technical assistance and guidance to states to improve their ability to respond to the outbreak.

Supporting communities, businesses, and schools

  • Creating business guidance to help the public and private sectors ensure they are able to operate with adaptations like telework and flexible sick leave policies, as well as how to respond if an employee gets sick.
  • Developing guidance for childcare programs, K-12 schools, and colleges/universities to help them plan and prepare for COVID-19 and respond if there is a local outbreak in their community.
  • Providing planning guides for COVID-19 that households, community- and faith-based organizations, event planners of mass gatherings, and public health communicators can use.
  • Educating communities about nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that help slow the spread of illness, like COVID-19.
  • Creating a Community Mitigation Frameworkpdf icon for implementation of mitigation strategies for communities with local COVID-19 transmission.

Highlights of CDC’s response

  • CDC established a COVID-19 Incident Management System on January 7, 2020. On January 21, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to better provide ongoing support to the COVID-19 response.
  • The U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps with respect to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus:
    • Foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, the United Kingdom, Ireland and any one of the 29 European countries in the Schengen Area within the past 14 days cannot enter the United States.
    • U.S. citizens, residents, and their immediate family members who have been any one of those countries within in the past 14 days can enter the United States, but they are subject to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days.
    • CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for cruise ship travel. CDC recommends that all people defer travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide.
    • CDC has issued additional specific travel guidance related to COVID-19.
  • CDC has issued clinical guidance, including:
  • CDC also has issued guidance for other settings, including schools, workplaces and community locations.
  • A collection of CDC’s COVID-19 Guidance Documents can be found online.
  • CDC has deployed multidisciplinary teams to support state health departments in case identification, contact tracing, clinical management, and public communications.
  • CDC has worked with federal partners to support the safe return of Americans overseas who have been affected by COVID-19.
  • An important part of CDC’s role during a public health emergency is to develop a test for the pathogen and equip state and local public health labs with testing capacity.
    • CDC developed an rRT-PCR test to diagnose COVID-19.
    • As of the evening of April 14, 97 state and local public health labs in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico have successfully verified and are currently using CDC COVID-19 viral tests.
    • Commercial manufacturers are now producing their own tests.
  • CDC has grown the COVID-19 virus in cell culture, which is necessary for further studies, including for additional genetic characterization. The cell-grown virus was sent to NIH’s BEI Resources Repositoryexternal icon for use by the broad scientific community.
  • CDC also is developing an antibody test for COVID-19.