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COVID-19 Webinars and Presentations

Technical Topics Related to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) has been conducting webinars and presentations on technical topics related to COVID-19 with a focus on protecting workers who may be at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

NIEHS Webinar: Looking Back at COVID-19 and Planning Ahead for Future Threats (August 31, 2022)

WTP, its grantees, and recovery centers develop tools and programs to prevent occupational exposure to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. WTP has developed training materials, fact sheets, and technical briefs for workers, workplaces, and the communities they serve. As workplaces transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic, focus needs to be on helping employers and workers prepare for ongoing and future infectious disease threats. This webinar took a “look back” to describe the WTP COVID-19 program and showcase some of the materials produced. It also looked ahead to determine how we can collaboratively plan, prepare, and build workforce capacity to prevent future infectious disease threats, especially among worker populations that face the greatest risks and disparities.

Occupational COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools (December 2, 2021)

This webinar provided a scientific basis for recommendations to prevent exposure to infectious agents based on real time, real world experiences as students, teachers, and staff are back to in-person learning. Panelists presented model programs, presented data on the effectiveness of masking, physical distancing, and vaccination, and addressed ongoing challenges with older building infrastructure, proper ventilation and airflow, space for distancing, compliance with masking, and vaccine uptake. Lack of national consensus on school and training facility safety, combined with state-to-state differences, means that we need to remain diligent about keeping students, trainees, and staff safe.

Thank you to those who submitted questions to panelists prior to and during the webinar. Since many of the questions related to ventilation and airflow, please refer below to the Practical Considerations for Using Portable Air Cleaners to Prevent Transmission of Infectious Aerosols (August 16, 2021) Webinar and the Factsheet and Brief on the Selection and Use of Portable Air Cleaners to Protect Workers from Exposure to SARS-CoV-2. If you have additional follow-up questions for panelists, please email us at

Practical Considerations for Using Portable Air Cleaners to Prevent Transmission of Infectious Aerosols (August 16, 2021)

This webinar provided information on 1) assessing ventilation systems within a building or space and 2) selection and use of portable air cleaner(s), when appropriate. Presenters discussed the difference between natural and mechanical ventilation and recommendations from American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The Paindemic: The Intersection between the COVID-19 Pandemic and Deaths of Despair (April 8, 2021)

Increased stress related to pandemic conditions and its effect on mental health are important factors driving an increase in opioid overdoses and fatalities as well as increased suicides and alcohol consumption. Anxiety, depression, and increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder are some of the common mental health effects of concern. Some key stressors for workers include concern about getting infected, infecting family members, adjusting to changes in work and work schedules, loss of pay, and violence by customers who refuse to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols. Stressors on minority and low wage workers include lack of access to healthcare, food and housing insecurity, job loss, and discrimination. In this webinar we detailed the extent of the problem of deaths of despair and how the COVID-19 pandemic has added fuel to the fire. We reviewed interventions such as peer assistance programs, training, and increased access to mental health and substance use care in the workplace.

Managing Inequities and Environmental Injustices Encountered on the Job Among Workers Experiencing Disadvantage (March 16, 2021)

COVID-19 illness, infectious disease, and natural disasters have disproportionately affected high risk, disadvantaged, under-resourced, and minority workers. This webinar panel explored challenges and opportunities for improving safety and health among these populations of workers, workplaces, and geographies. It also addressed how comorbidities and disadvantages like underlying chronic disease, food insecurity, race, and income can impact occupational risk. Given the recent winter storm related events in Texas, participants heard about how the lack of power and water across the state have disproportionately affected workers and the impact of COVID-19 in that region.

Preventing Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 in Non-Hospital Healthcare Settings (February 17, 2021)

Non-hospital based healthcare workers are at high risk of occupational exposure to infectious diseases and the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar shared experiences and solutions to better protect workers in clinics, nursing homes, long term care, emergency response, and home health. It included lessons learned from other public health crises – September 11, Ebola, HIV – and how to build better, forward-thinking occupational health and safety and infection prevention plans that prepare for whatever crisis is ahead.

In English:
En Español:

Addressing the Role of the Vaccine in Workplace COVID-19 Prevention: How to Weed through Misinformation, Mistrust, and Improve Worker Protection (January 14, 2021)

This webinar addressed why the vaccine will not be an immediate answer for preventing exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and what that means for staying true to the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls. It will help attendees to sort through information, fears, and mistrust and use it to build safer environments for workers.

Protecting Volunteers from COVID-19 During Natural Disaster Response and Recovery (December 7, 2020)

The NIEHS Worker Training Program presented a 90-minute webinar in partnership with the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice, Subcommittee on Environmental Justice and Natural Disasters.

This webinar accompanied the new release of the joint AIHA/NIEHS Guidance to Protect Volunteers From COVID-19 During Natural Disaster Response and Recovery.

In English:
En Español:

Training Best Practices in the Time of Covid-19 Webinar Series: In-Person Training Under COVID-19 – Protocols and Practices (September 18, 2020)

Training Best Practices in the Time of Covid-19 Webinar Series: Tools for Creative Engagement on Virtual Platforms (September 10, 2020)

Training Best Practices in the Time of Covid-19 Webinar Series: Setting-up Online Training – Practices & Platforms (September 3, 2020)

Ethics for Safety and Health Professionals (August 26, 2020)

Ethical Issues around Contact Tracing/Testing in the Workplace (August 19, 2020)

Workplace Outbreak Investigation, Contact Tracing, and Testing: Intersection between Occupational & Public Health (August 5, 2020)

Ethical Considerations Regarding Meat Processing Plant Operations, Worker Safety, and Community Welfare (July 22, 2020)

Introduction to Ethical Issues around COVID-19 and Work (July 8, 2020)

Minimizing Workplace Exposures Through Design and Engineering Controls (July 1, 2020)

Essential Workers Train-the-Trainer (April 23, 2020)

The University of Maryland Medical Center Experience (April 15, 2020)

Exposure Prevention for COVID-19 Essential Workers (April 1, 2020)

COVID-19 Train-the-Trainer (March 26, 2020)

WTP Recovery Centers

WTP Recovery Centers Launch Meeting (May 19, 2021)

On May 19, WTP held a Launch Meeting for the awardees who received supplemental funding to run COVID-19 Recovery Centers. Sharon Beard opened the meeting, representatives from the Grants Management Branch were there to answer questions, and WTP staff provided information on the program, the data management system, and infection control plans. Awardees provided an overview of their Recovery Center plans. Specific presentations are provided below, along with a summary of the Recovery Center Awards and the meeting agenda.

Week in Review Webinars

Week in Review (June 26, 2020)

Week in Review (June 12, 2020)

Week in Review (April 24, 2020)

Week in Review (April 17, 2020)

Week In Review (April 10, 2020)

Week In Review (April 3, 2020)

Week in Review (March 27, 2020)

Protecting Infectious Disease Responders During the COVID-19 Outbreak Workshop

Emory University Woodruff Health Sciences Center, in conjunction with the NIEHS WTP, sponsored a workshop on Protecting Infectious Disease Responders During the COVID-19 Outbreak on March 17, 2020. Presentations can be found on the workshop page.

Protecting Infectious Disease Responders During the COVID-19 Outbreak Workshop: Highlights

Protecting Infectious Disease Responders During the COVID-19 Outbreak Workshop: Morning Sessions

Protecting Infectious Disease Responders During the COVID-19 Outbreak Workshop: Afternoon Sessions

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