An epidemic is the rapid spread of disease to a great number of people in a given population within a short period; however, when that epidemic spreads across a large region, such as over multiple continents, it’s called a pandemic.

The most devastating pandemic on record to date was the bubonic plague (“Black Death”) that migrated across Europe from 1346 to 1353, killing between 75-200 million people. The H1N1 influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 (“Spanish flu”) killed at least 17 million (including 675,000 Americans), and more recently, the 2009-2010 H1N1 flu pandemic (“swine flu”) infected an estimated 700 million to 1.4 billion people worldwide, killing between 150,000 and 575,000. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths from of swine flu in the U.S., 2009-2010).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

In 2019, health officials warned of the COVID-19, a new and highly infectious respiratory disease first discovered in Wuhan, China. Within weeks, the disease spread via travelers to several other nations, including Iran, Italy, Spain, and the United States. By March 24, 2020, there were over 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and several thousand new cases are being reported daily.

The National Center for Healthy Housing has heard from communities who would like to share information and resources specifically focused on dealing with the challenges created by COVID-19. To help facilitate that work, NCHH has curated this page to highlight resources from federal agencies, national partners, and state and local agencies and organizations. Many of you are developing innovative solutions to challenges facing your healthy housing work during this time, and your colleagues around the country are eager to hear those ideas and build on tools you’ve created.

Note that NCHH does not make any claims of medical or legal expertise. For medical questions, consult a qualified healthcare worker; for legal issues, seek proper legal advice.

General Resources

CDC Coronoavirus Disease 2019 Situation Summary
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring COVID-19 and has created a microsite with information on the disease’s source and spread. Access the site via the tabs to the right of this screen. (Mobile and tablet users, scroll to the bottom of the screen.) [url; CDC, 2020]

Protect Your Home
This landing page created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance on how to prepare your home and family during the COVID-19 outbreak, including readying your home, a checklist for individuals and families, and disinfecting your home. [url; CDC, 2020]

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Advice for the Public: Myth Busters
The World Health Organization (WHO) created this communications resource to correct some of the many inaccuracies about COVID-19 being shared on social media. Included are eye-catching and informative graphics designed for Twitter and Facebook. [url; WHO, 2020]

NYC Health: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Serving the most populous, diverse, and closely quartered metropolitan area in the United States, the New York City Health Department is fighting an uphill battle against COVID-19. To reach as many residents as possible, they’ve published several informative fact sheets in up to 22 different languages. [url; NYC Health, 2020]

Guidance for Keeping Workplaces, Schools and Homes Safe
This CDC resource includes brief education for all households, households with vulnerable seniors or those with significant underlying conditions, and households with sick family members. [pdf; CDC, 2019]

Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities
The CDC offers recommendations for those in close contact with a person with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or a person under investigation, including household members and non-healthcare caregivers. [url; CDC, 2020]

NHC Coronavirus Resources
The National Housing Conference (NHC) has compiled resources on how to prevent spreading COVID-19, help for vulnerable populations, and precautions and contingency planning for property managers. [url; NHC, 2020]

Resources for A/I Clinicians during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) developed a collection of COVID-19 resources primarily for allergists, immunologists, but there’s some great information on the site that will benefit everyone. It’s open access, but AAAAI recommends creating a login to access all of their resources. [url; AAAAI, 2020]

How We Know Disinfectants Should Kill the COVID-19 Coronavirus
This Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN) article discusses the rationale behind product claims of being able to kill COVID-19 based on its ability to disinfect other viruses that are considered similar, what the claims actually mean, and how these disinfectants work. Note that this article may be publicly viewable for a limited time; C&EN encourages readers to subscribe to their newsletter. [url; C&EN, 2020]

Guidance for Property Managers

COVID-19 and Housing
Hosted by the National Housing Conference, this webinar features experts in public health and epidemiology discussing the COVID-19 outbreak, how to prevent the spreading of the disease, and appropriate precautions and contingency planning for property managers. This webinar features Mark Dworkin, MD, Professor and Associate Director for Epidemiology at University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and Sinan Almukhtar, MD, PhD student, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. View slides. [url; NHC, 2020]

REHVA COVID-19 Guidance Document: How to Operate and Use Building Services in Order to Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Virus (SARS-CoV-2) in Workplaces (March 17, 2020)
REHVA, the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations, which represents more than over 120,000 HVAC designers, building services engineers, technicians, and experts across 27 European countries, published this guidance document to share the latest best practices in coronavirus prevention with HVAC professionals. [pdf; REHVA, 2020]

City of Worcester COVID-19 Guidelines for Housing Contractors, Property Managers, and Real Estate Sales Professionals
The City of Worcester, Massachusetts, developed three separate guidelines for people who enter others’ homes regularly as part of their daily work. These guidelines may be useful to other municipalities looking to develop similar protocols. Housing Contractors | Property Managers | Real Estate Sales Professionals [pdf; City of Worcester, 2020]

COVID-19 Preparedness for Apartment Firms
this guidance document from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) is a compilation and overview of suggested apartment owner preparations and considerations and is meant to be a starting point for company-specific plans. [pdf; NMHC, 2020]

Guidance for Contractors, Real Estate Sales Professionals, and Other Sectors

City of Worcester COVID-19 Guidelines for Housing Contractors, Property Managers, and Real Estate Sales Professionals
The City of Worcester, Massachusetts, developed three separate guidelines for people who enter others’ homes regularly as part of their daily work. These guidelines may be useful to other municipalities looking to develop similar protocols. Housing Contractors | Property Managers | Real Estate Sales Professionals [pdf; City of Worcester, 2020]

Strategies for Continuing Healthy Homes Activities While Social Distancing

Using Telehealth to Reduce Healthcare Worker and Patient Exposures – Considerations for State and Territorial Health Leaders
ASTHO published this issue brief promoting the utilization of telehealth services to screen, test, and treat exposure to disease, making healthcare accessible to a greater population while reducing the risk of infection to public health workers. [pdf; ASTHO, 2020]

COVID-19 Resources and Support: Telehealth
As part of Health Management Associates’ COVID-19 Resources and Support site, this web page offers healthcare providers guidance on general considerations to contemplate as the telehealth environment changes and expands and how to mobilize telehealth services properly, as well as a telehealth readiness checkup questionnaire. This website also allows users to watch a previously recorded webinar entitled Telehealth and the COVID-19 Response: Policy Changes and Implementation Strategies. [url; HMA, 2020]

Ensuring Housing Stability during Pandemics

COVID-19 Intervention Actions: Supporting Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) complied this summary of the various efforts at the federal, state, and local government levels to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless population, a group already at greater risk of infection due to crowding in shelters and lack of regular access to cleaning facilities. [pdf; ASTHO, 2020]

Responding to Coronavirus: Ensuring Housing Stability During a Crisis
In this publication, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) argues that policymakers considering a legislative spending package to mitigate the health and economic impact of COVID-19 must also include resources to help ensure housing stability, access to healthcare, and food assistance to all people regardless of income, immigration status, or insurance. [pdf; NLIHC, 2020]

LIHTC Allocating Agencies Respond to Coronavirus
Agencies that administer the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) have much valuable experience dealing with challenges (such as legislation enacted with no notice or sudden equity market changes) and disasters (such as hurricanes and flooding or public health crises). This resource lists announcements from various agencies taking proactive steps. [url; Novogradac, 2020]

New Additions

Coronavirus Hub for CCR&Rs and Child Care Providers
How will COVID-19 affect the nation’s child care providers? Should they close their businesses to slow the virus’ spread or remain open so that parents can continue their work uninterrupted? If they stay open, what new or different practices should they adopt in order to keep children safe? If they close their doors, what happens to them, and where can parents take their children for care? In anticipation of such questions, Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) has created an informative toolkit to address the needs of child care providers and their clients around the country, including how to create an infectious disease response plan or improve one already in use, how to find an open facility when the original day care has closed. [url; CCAoA, 2020]

Home Visitation and Contact Guidance in Response to COVID-19 for Child Welfare Family-Centered Services
Prepared by the Iowa Department of Human Services, this document provides guidance for workers involved in home visitation and other social work practices that require in-person contact with families, including general mitigation practices, example screening questions, and telehealth information. [pdf; IDHS, 2020].

Isolation Instructions for Patients with Respiratory Symptoms
The University of Rochester Medical Center provides guidance for patients with respiratory symptoms and precautions for those individuals to take while at home to prevent spreading infection to family and community members. [pdf; URMC, 2020].

COVID-19: Executive Directors, Tribal Leaders, and Multifamily Property Owners
[HUD, 2020]

COVID-19 FAQs for the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher and Native American Programs
[HUD, 2020]

Last page update: April 6, 2020.