Washington, DC, August 19, 2020 —The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion, has awarded 25 local health departments (LHDs) to enhance infectious disease prevention and control in high risk facilities through the Building Local Operational Capacity for COVID-19 (BLOC COVID-19) demonstration site project. The goal of this project is to enhance local capacity to prevent and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by building LHD capacity in infection prevention and control (IPC), supporting identified high-risk facilities by conducting in-person or virtual IPC assessments, and expanding collaboration and coordination between LHDs and community infection prevention partners.

The BLOC COVID-19 project supports LHDs in preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases in healthcare settings, including COVID-19, by increasing capacity to identify and address gaps in IPC practices such as hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, and proper environmental cleaning. NACCHO’s Chief Executive Officer Lori Tremmel Freeman highlighted how COVID-19 has further demonstrated the need for increased IPC support in various healthcare settings. “COVID-19 has heightened public awareness of the importance of public health in various healthcare settings, revealed critical opportunities to improve IPC, and illuminated the ripple effects that gaps in IPC can have in healthcare facilities and communities,” noted Freeman.

Award recipients will build their local capacity to conduct infection prevention and control assessments in healthcare settings, identify gaps in IPC practices within facilities, and provide technical assistance to support improvement of IPC practices.
Local health departments that received the award include the following:

  • Calhoun County Health Department (IL)
  • City of El Paso (TX)
  • City of New Haven Health Department (CT)
  • Contra Costa Health Services (CA)
  • Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (NY)
  • Evanston Department of Health and Human Services (IL)
  • Farmington Valley Health District (CT)
  • Florida Department of Health in Polk County (FL)
  • Fort Bend County Health & Human Services (TX)
  • Hamilton County Public Health (OH)Hennepin County Public Health (MN)
  • Ingham County Health Department (MI)
  • Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center (IL)
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (NE)
  • Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (KY)
  • Mahaska Health (IA)
  • Pima County Health Dept (AZ)
  • Prince George’s County Health Department (MD)
  • Public Health – Seattle and King County (WA)
  • Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (VA)
  • San Juan Basin Public Health (CO)
  • Sangamon County Department of Public Health (IL)
  • Stark County Health Department (OH)
  • West Hartford / Bloomfield Health District (CT)
  • Williamson County and Cities Health District (TX)

The awardees will implement this project through July 2021.

“This grant will allow us to greatly enhance our Infection Control, Assessment and Response (ICAR) processes with the long-term care facilities in our jurisdiction,” according to Hamilton County Public Health assistant health commissioner Jennifer Mooney, PhD. “The grant will provide the funds to train and certify our team on infection control procedures and to then bring that training to the facilities.”

ABOUT NACCHO – The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.