COVID-19 Management during Public Health Emergencies

Printer Friendly, PDF & Email

The goal of any public health emergency is to help as many people as quickly as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new dimension to emergency management. Not only has COVID-19 made it difficult to employ common practices, like sheltering people together in an evacuation centre, but certain emergency conditions may exacerbate COVID-19 risk (e.g., exposure to wildfire smoke).  Health inequities exploited by COVID-19 further intensify certain population’s vulnerabilities to emergencies. In addition, mass evacuations and the unavoidable need for congregate or community shelters provide opportunities for person-to-person transmission and movement into new communities. This severely complicates contact tracing and isolation of those exposed.

This topic page is not intended to support pandemic planning or preparedness in general, but rather to gather resources that address how typical emergency management practices and procedures may need to be adapted to a pandemic context.

Please see our other Environmental Public Health Emergency Resources:

Preparedness for Emergencies

Extreme Heat


Evacuation and Reception Centres



Wildfire smoke

Last updated Apr 15, 2021