Emergency shelters in disaster response in global, low resource settings
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Emergency shelters in disaster response in global, low resource settings

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      Updated Sept. 16, 2020 Individuals housed in emergency shelters in response to disasters, such as shared living spaces and sanitary facilities, may be exposed to crowded conditions. Emergency managers, shelter coordinators and managers, and public health professionals should understand the risk of the introduction and spread of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and other infectious diseases in these settings. This document provides suggestions to assist disaster response shelter management and staff in taking appropriate actions for reducing the possibility of COVID-19 virus spread among shelter staff, volunteers, residents, and visitors before, during, or after a disaster. For the purposes of this document, “emergency shelters” include small-, medium-, and large-scale, organized and temporary accommodations for persons displaced by disasters. Facilities may be residential (e.g., dormitories, hotels, etc.) or non-residential (e.g., sports stadiums, schools, churches, etc.), with varying degrees of sanitary infrastructure. The considerations are presented in table format and are organized by mitigation principle (physical distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, and respiratory hygiene). Document audience: This document is intended for use by any person, institution, or organization preparing for or responding to disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic and for those assisting these entities (national and local governments, CDC country offices, and others) in low-resources settings. What this document adds to existing guidance: This document provides suggestions that can be considered by emergency shelter staff in low-resource settings and can be adapted to follow national or local guidelines, and to account for local context. Local populations can be engaged in the planning and decision-making process by identifying trusted stakeholders and community leaders to provide feedback on proposed mitigation measures before their implementation. Layered approach: Mitigation measures can be organized into three categories: personal controls, administrative controls, and engineering controls. These should be layered on top of each other to reduce overall risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission for people temporarily housed in emergency shelters and shelter/response staff. Engineering controls are potentially more effective and protective than administrative controls, which may be more effective and protective than personal controls. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/global-covid-19
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