This webpage provides updates about how the College is supporting our Arizona communities and community partners during the COVID-19 outbreak.
For the most up-to-date coronavirus information specific to the University of Arizona, visit the UArizona Coronavirus Information webpage here: https://www.arizona.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-information
For links to the most current information from the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), click here or scroll to the bottom of this page.
This graphic from the CDC shows the importance of slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus so that infection cases do not overwhelm the health care system. All the public health measures being taken by the University of Arizona and regional governments and individuals, from washing hands to cancelling large gatherings, help to slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve of infection so that our health care system is able to provide care to those who need it.
How We Are Helping Our Community Partners
At the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH), our faculty experts are working closely with regional health providers, first responders, and the Pima County Health Department to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and are working TOGETHER to respond to the virus in Southern Arizona. Some of the programs connected to the College appear below:
Training Video for First Responders: How to Prevent Infection During an Outbreak
Dr. Kelly Reynolds, Professor and Chair in the Department of Community, Environment, and Policy, and Director at the Environment, Exposure Science, and Risk Assessment Center (ESRAC), worked with the Tucson Fire Department (TFD) and with the Western Regional Public Health Training Center (WRPHTC) at MEZCOPH to create a training video for firefighters and EMS responders about the best protocols to avoid infection. You can view the Training Video on YouTube and download the supplemental EMS Exposure Mitigation Checklist.
COVID-19 hotline: Public Health Students Help Answer Public Calls to Information Hotline
Many MEZCOPH students have been trained in the Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response (SAFER) course to support regional health departments, including Pima County Health Department and Maricopa County Health Department. SAFER students will answer phones for a coronavirus information hotline at the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center (APDIC) at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona. The APDIC has promoted its hotline phone number as a “coronavirus information hotline” to provide answers to Arizonans who have questions about the COVID-19 outbreak. SAFER students and COPH faculty are working with APDIC to expand the hotline into a "virtual call center" so more students can help, they hope to launch the week of March 30th.
Parents and Teachers: Toolkit for Talking to Kids About COVID-19
Dr. Patricia Haynes lead a team of faculty and students to develop a Toolkit of materials to guide parents and teachers on how to talk to kids about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Check out all the materials on our Toolkit webpage.
College Leads COVID-19 Response in Spanish-Speaking Communities
Through established programs that reach predominantly Mexican-American Spanish-speaking communities in many Arizona counties (including Phoenix and Tucson), the College has deployed a phone calling campaign to provide information and guidance about the COVID-19 outbreak. The Ventanillas de Salud and Mobile Health Unit programs have relationships with thousands of community members, and they have mobilized their staff to provide remote counseling. Arizona counties served by the Mobile Heath Unit program include: Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Cochise, Graham, and Greenlee.
Much of the communication with the communities is through established social media channels:
Mobile Health Unit-Tucson Facebook
Mobile Health Unit-Phoenix Facebook
Mobile Health Unit-Phoenix Twitter
You can learn more about the Mobile Health Units here:
Tucson MHU | Phoenix MHU
College Supports Pima County Health Department Response
Faculty and students at the College are supporting the Pima County Health Department (PCHD) by reviewing public health protocols for the following topics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Vulnerable population groups
- Interventions to reduce contacts
- Understanding the reproductive number
- Transmissibility and impact of COVID 19 on kids
- How to combat Xenophobia
- How to determine if and when we can reduce our social distancing efforts
- Therapies and treatments that may prove effective in combatting COVID 19
This support includes reviewing available data, tracking new data and research, and delivering analysis to PCHD and community health providers.
Updated Information, World Leader in Pandemic Response
A trailblazer in pandemic response, Mark Smolinski, President of Ending Pandemics (an organization dedicated to fighting global disease, funded by the Skoll Foundation), has been applying innovative solutions to prevent the global spread of disease for more than 25 years in a variety of leadership positions. Updates on the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on the Ending Pandemics website. As a MEZCOPH alumnus, Smolinksi will be one of the Honorees at the 20th Anniversary Gala celebration for the College on April 25, 2020.
University of Arizona Health Sciences COVID-19 Information
For the most current information from all the Colleges in the University of Arizona Health Sciences, go to: https://uahs.arizona.edu/node/7358
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- University of Arizona Campus Health
- Pima County Health Department
- Arizona Department of Health Services
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