NCEHSOP Spring & Summer 2020 Training Opportunities Cancelled

Good afternoon! On behalf of the NCEHSOP Committee, we hope that you and your families are holding up well during the trying times of the COVID-19 crisis. These are certainly historically stressful times for everyone, and all of us are trying to navigate through this pandemic as best we can.

After much thought and discussion, the Committee has made some difficult decisions regarding 2020 spring and summer SOP training events. As you know from NCREHS Board’s announcement yesterday, they are requesting Emergency and Temporary Rule changes to make Continuing Education hours for 2020 (only) be optional and not required, and to extend the timeframe requirement to complete EH Law by one year. All of this coupled with the uncertainty of COVID-19’s duration, and anticipated time and budget constraints and travel restrictions once we are on the other side of the pandemic, the Committee has made the decision to cancel our recently announced upcoming training events for 2020. More specifically, this includes:

  • Seafood Quality & Safety Workshop – May 27 – 28, 2020
  • NC EH Law Course – July 15 – 17, 2020
  • 5th Annual EH Symposium & Workshop – August 5 -7, 2020

There is a possibility that we may offer training opportunities in the fall and winter months if it is safe and practical to do so. Watch for announcements later this year.

For those who registered and paid the registration fees online for the Seafood Workshop, I will refund those monies to the card that you used. If you registered and mailed a check to pay the registration fees, I will return the voided check to your supervisor, so they can return them to your Finance folks who can credit the money back to your budget.

In closing, please know that the Committee considered many things before making these decisions. We recognize the importance of being informed of best practices for investigating and responding to disease, monitoring for hazards and education the public becomes more crucial every day. We also know that it is more important to balance our commitment to education with our dedication to safety through social isolation efforts directed by Federal, State and Local Governments.

Thank you for all that you do to protect yourself and the public that relies on us. Continue to stay safe and well through social distancing and crowd avoidance. Feel free to contact me should you have questions.

~Donna,

Donna Coffey, Administrative Assistant
North Carolina Environmental Health State of Practice Committee (NCEHSOP)
Post Office Box 489
Efland, NC 27243

Additional COVID-19 Food Service Guidance

As the COVID-19 situation evolves across our state, we have been receiving questions about what to do if a food service employee tests positive or is a presumptive positive. I have attached a guidance document we developed to address this.

Also, in an effort to help local health departments and establishments with the changing takeout and curb side pick-up business model, we have developed a handout that might be useful. I have attached this in both color and black and white for ease of printing.

All of our resources have been posted to our Emergency Preparedness Website, found here: https://ehs.ncpublichealth.com/emprepresp.htm [ehs.ncpublichealth.com]

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Veronica Bryant, REHS

Emergency Preparedness and Outbreak Coordinator

Division of Public Health, Environmental Health Section

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

919-218-6943 mobile

Veronica.bryant

5605 Six Forks Road

1632 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1632

COVID-19restaurant take out guidanceb&w.pdf

Guidance for COVID-19 Positive Food Handlers.pdf

COVID-19restaurant take out guidance.pdf

COVID-19 Resources

I wanted to share some resources with you this morning that will be helpful as additional questions come in throughout the state related to COVID-19. For ease of access, we have added all of the materials we have created to our EHS Preparedness Website. As we continue to develop guidance and information we will add it to this page. https://ehs.ncpublichealth.com/emprepresp.htm [ehs.ncpublichealth.com]

Additionally, the guidance that has been developed by NC DHHS for different groups of stakeholders can be found here: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina/covid-19-guidance [ncdhhs.gov]

Specifically, guidance for local confinement facilities as well as information from the Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR) for long term care facilities can be found here.

Finally, we know that local health departments are receiving phone calls from the public about COVID-19 and looking for resources. NC Cooperative Extension has developed a large number of resources that are available for use to a wide range of audience. Most of them have been translated to Spanish as well. Please feel free to use these, and also check back as they have been updating this site as well: https://foodsafety.ces.ncsu.edu/covid-19-resources/ [foodsafety.ces.ncsu.edu]

As this week begins, I am grateful for the hard work of the EH professionals across the state. We will keep working to provide resources and guidance for you to use as the situation evolves. Please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns.

Veronica Bryant, REHS

Emergency Preparedness and Outbreak Coordinator

Division of Public Health, Environmental Health Section

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

919-218-6943 mobile

Veronica.bryant