Contact: Tamara Moore | tmoore@thereisgroup.com | 202-868-4008

SHEA Urges Renewal of National Public Health Emergency Declaration 
Preparation for seasonal fire, hurricane and influenza threats magnify pandemic 

ARLINGTON, Virginia (June 30, 2020) — The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) has joined with other public health and medical societies urging the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to renew the current public health emergency before it expires July 25.

Many states and localities are still experiencing dramatic increases in SARS-CoV-2 infections and hospitalizations due to COVID-19. At the same time, these areas are preparing for seasonal threats such as hurricanes, wildfires, influenza and more. We cannot afford to ease up on our response to this grave threat. The public health emergency declaration extension will enable us to:

  • Deploy resources to facilitate coordination and collaboration across federal, state and local agencies, including communications on ways to protect the public and assist states and local governments in their response.
  • Ensure approval and implementation of resources, such as new diagnostic tools to expand testing that is critical to full reopening, approval of novel and repurposed countermeasures like vaccines and antiviral drugs, and jurisdictional testing plans.
  • Protect the most vulnerable in our communities by strengthening prevention efforts, increasing access to testing, assuring quality health care services, and addressing excess death rates in communities of color, among older adults, and those with serious conditions.

Additional organizations are continuing to sign onto the letter with SHEA, American Public Health Association, American Society for Microbiology, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Infectious Diseases Society of America, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and Trust for America’s Health.

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The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world who possess expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. The society’s work improves public health by establishing infection-prevention measures and supporting antibiotic stewardship among healthcare providers, hospitals, and health systems. This is accomplished by leading research studies, translating research into clinical practice, developing evidence-based policies, optimizing antibiotic stewardship, and advancing the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA and its members strive to improve patient outcomes and create a safer, healthier future for all. Visit SHEA online at www.shea-online.org, www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and https://twitter.com/SHEA_Epi.