Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a coronavirus that was first identified in December 2019. By January, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the outbreak was caused by a novel coronavirus, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As a novel disease, there were no licensed therapeutics or vaccines to prevent infection.
The virus eventually spread to the United States, and the Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Centers (RESPTCs) accepted some of the first patients with COVID-19 into their biocontainment units.
Follow the links below to find resources related to COVID-19 for all facilities, including the NETEC webinar series, PPE use and conservation guidance documents, education and training resources, preparedness resources, research on respiratory pathogens and airborne transmission, clinical guidance documents, documents on ambulatory PPE, and other research resources. Click here for items on COVID-19 and pediatrics. Scroll for the COVID-19 map, key updates, and new NETEC resources. You can go to the WHO COVID-19 pages and the CDC COVID-19 pages for additional resources.
Contributing to the COVID-19 Pandemic Response
From the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, NETEC, and the network of Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Centers (RESPTCs), contributed to national and global pandemic preparedness and response, provided education and training, and supported U.S. operational response and clinical research capabilities.
The RESPTCs served as early quarantine and treatment sites for the first U.S. patients with COVID-19.
Subject matter experts from the RESPTCs provided education, clinical training, logistical advice, and support for a wide range of health care settings.
- RESPTCs developed innovative disinfection processes to safely reprocess PPE, and these methods were widely disseminated through NETEC webinars.
- RESPTCs developed creative solutions to demands for COVID testing and hospital services.
- Special pathogen and biocontainment unit teams functioned as subject matter experts for their hospital’s frontline health care staff to reinforce infection prevention and control measures, conduct just-in-time training on PPE protocols and safety practices, and more throughout their hospitals and across their regions.
- RESPTCs led their cities, states, and regions in care coordination and “load balancing” to ensure limited hospital resources were appropriately distributed.
Through the Special Pathogen Research Network (SPRN), RESPTCs rapidly enrolled patients into early clinical trials.
- SPRN onboarded all 10 RESPTCs and enrolled more than a quarter of the participants in the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), which evaluated the safety and efficacy of novel therapeutic agents—including remdesivir and baricitinib—in the treatment of COVID-19.
- The SPRN Central IRB was used to establish a COVID-19 biorepository to support researchers investigating the virus.
- Members from the RESPTC network contributed to the peer-reviewed literature related to COVID-19.
Learn more about the contributions of the Regional Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Centers to the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic response.
CDC Novel Coronavirus Updates
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Fri, 05 May 2023
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Fri, 13 Jan 2023
Supporting Health Care and Public Health Professionals During COVID-19
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, NETEC has created PPE use and conservation guidance documents, education and training resources, preparedness resources, research on respiratory pathogens and airborne transmission, clinical guidance documents, documents on ambulatory PPE, and other research resources to support health care personnel.
Due to early restrictions on in-person events and meetings, NETEC quickly moved its educational and consultative offerings online:
- Hosted weekly webinars with timely information addressing COVID-19 topics including PPE shortages, N95 reuse, infection control processes, respiratory support strategies, resiliency, and clinical management.
- Conducted virtual readiness and response consultations; between July 2020 and July 2021, NETEC led 42 consultations with participants from all 50 states.
NETEC has developed more than 100 distinct resources for health care workers and has curated hundreds more from trusted sources. The list on this page represents some of the most useful resources related to COVID-19. Follow this link for the full list.
COVID-19 NETEC Resources
Establishing A National Special Pathogens System of Care
In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic surge revealed gaps in the nation’s special pathogens infrastructure, HHS ASPR directed NETEC to create a strategy for the development of a National Special Pathogen System of Care (NSPS). The NSPS is a four-tiered system designed to leverage public-private partnerships to strengthen health care response capabilities at the local, regional, and national levels for managing patients infected with special pathogens and/or large-scale outbreaks.
Once implemented, the NSPS will provide a coordinated and standardized health care network of high-quality, patient- and community-centered care for patients suspected of or known to be infected by a special pathogen in the United States, while protecting the health care workforce.