CIEH offers COVID-19 contact tracing support to public health agencies

21 April 2020, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has been in positive conversations with public health agencies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland about the role the Environmental Health Profession can play in supporting contact tracing.

As well as promoting the expertise of its 7,000 plus members, working in a variety of sectors, CIEH has offered its 400 plus strong voluntary register of Environmental Health Professionals (EHPs) to support contact tracing efforts.

EHPs have unique and valuable skills and are well placed to support government in any future contact tracing plans. As such, CIEH has established a National Environmental Health Volunteer Register, with over 400 qualified and enthusiastic professionals already committed. As well as promoting the expertise of Environmental Health Professionals (EHPs) within the public and private sectors, CIEH has offered this register to the various public health agencies to support contact tracing endeavours.

Earlier today the Welsh Government confirmed that council environmental health officers will be deployed as part of a mass community contact tracing drive in the planned next phase of COVID-19 response efforts.

Debbie Wood, Executive Director for Membership and External Affairs at CIEH, said:

“Our discussions with public health agencies have been positive and productive and we fully support all of their efforts to tackle COVID-19.

EHPs are perfectly suited to supporting vital contact tracing work and stand ready to get involved. The speed with which our members have signed up and committed themselves to our volunteer register showcases their enthusiasm and drive as well as their desire to play their part to the full in this emergency.

We have offered access to our voluntary register of EHPs who can help, and we have also been talking to private sector employers of EHPs who could offer resource in a voluntary capacity. We have also offered to support training of volunteers when necessary.

We were greatly encouraged by today’s announcement by the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, that EHPs will be mobilised to support contract tracing efforts.

Our profession is eager to play its part and is a considerable additional resource to government.”

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