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Zika Pregnancy and Birth Defects Local Health Department Field Support (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can our state health department apply for on-site support through this opportunity?

Yes, state health departments may apply; preference in assignment of resources will be to local health departments and then to other health departments with significant cases and capacity needs. The purpose of field support is to assist local health department (LHD) capacity to: collect and report accurate, timely, and complete data on pregnancies and infants with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection and infant outcomes, as well as fetuses and infants with specific birth defects with and without Zika virus exposure; and to help pregnant women and children affected by Zika receive the services they need.

Although this opportunity is intended to address the needs of LHDs, we anticipate state health agency (SHA) involvement in each LHD application. For example, applications ask for the names of SHA counterparts who will participate in the field assignment. If chosen, we expect that the LHD and SHA will be working collaboratively throughout the period of support.

Our state doesn’t currently have any Zika cases. Are we still eligible to apply for on-site support?

No, jurisdictions without Zika cases are not eligible to apply for on-site support at this time. Only jurisdictions that are currently monitoring pregnant women or infants with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection in their jurisdictions and/or have a definable increase in birth defects that may be associated with congenital Zika syndrome are eligible to apply.

Who can we contact if we have specific questions about eligibility and requirements for on-site support?

CDC hosted two informational webinars – one on December 6, 2016, at 4 PM EST and one on Dec. 8, 2016, at 11 AM EST – for all local health departments who are interested in applying for this opportunity. Slides from the webinar can be found on the CDC website. Additionally, if you have specific questions that were not addressed during the webinar, you may email us at

Are we required to name all proposed members of our Local Health Department-State Health Agency Zika Pregnancy and Birth Defects Team prior to submitting the application?

As part of the application, we ask that you submit the names and contact information for those people who will be members of your team. We understand that people may be added to or removed from the team, but we would like your best approximation of the team members as of the date of the application.

Is there a deadline for submitting the application to the CDC?

The deadline is December 23, 2016. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis after the application is released on December 1, 2016, with an anticipated end date of December 23, 2016, for the first application period. CDC anticipates more than one application period.

What is the timeline for a decision by CDC after our application is submitted?

It is our goal to communicate a decision on the application to the team lead via email within 7 days after the interview takes place Immediately after an application is received (ideally, within 2 days), we will contact your department to schedule a follow-up interview with the team lead for your LHD implementation team.

We would like to submit a joint application for support along with another local health department in our state. Is this permissible?

Yes. The sharing of limited resources is encouraged with public funds.

If our local health department is not selected for on-site support, is any other Zika-related support available through this opportunity?

Yes, if your local health department is not selected for on-site support when you apply, there may be other opportunities available through this opportunity. There are a number of partner agencies and organizations that have pledged to provide technical assistance to local health departments seeking capacity development assistance (e.g., NACCHO, ASTHO, AMCHP, CSTE, CityMatCH, AAP, ACOG). Even if you do not qualify for on-site support, you will be considered for technical assistance through one of our partners. Local health departments are encouraged to discuss capacity needs with their state health department or national partner organization. State health departments have a US Zika Pregnancy Registry Point of Contact who can be a conduit for this communication.

If we are deemed eligible, how soon will the field support begin and how long will it last?

When your local health department is selected for on-site support, a timeline will be created. In other words, the exact start date will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The length of field support will vary and is dependent on the local health department’s specific needs as well as on the contractual relationship between CDC and the vendor.

We need support in all seven areas of capacity assistance. Are we eligible for more than one field support assignee?

We will consider placing more than one person at your LHD if the needs of your health department require additional support and additional field support is possible given pending applications. Your needs for more than one assignee will be evaluated during the follow-up interview.

Application Form: