Public health challenges facing Environmental Health Officers during COVID-19: methamphetamine contamination of properties

Emma J. Kuhn, G. Stewart Walker, Jackie Wright, Harriet Whiley, Kirstin E. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

The World Health Organization announced the COVID‐19 global pandemic to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020. Many governments from around the world, including Australia, the US, China, and the UK, responded by implementing strict public health interventions. Globally, police, Army Reserves and other military services were used to enforce measures that included closing borders to overseas travellers, limiting group gatherings, and applying social distancing regulations. Despite adopting mitigation strategies, in some countries (e.g. China, Spain, Italy and Brazil), the spread of disease surpassed containment measures. Within countries, there have also been hotspots of infection, and even more stringent containment methods, such as lockdowns – which limited the movement of all residents – have been implemented in high‐risk locations. Throughout 2020, social distancing regulations have changed the way people interact with each other and there has been a significant increase in public health messages for hand hygiene, sanitation and self‐isolation. Every country has faced increased and, in some cases, overwhelming demands on healthcare, increased unemployment, and economic uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume45
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • environmental health officers
  • public safety
  • public health
  • methamphetamine

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