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COVID-19 Training Update, Resources, and Virtual Office Hours

To support public health surrounding COVID-19, the national Harm Reduction Coalition is postponing in-person trainings and convenings and adjusting current work plans based on guidance from the New York State Department of Health, California Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. Effective immediately and until further notice we are adopting the following protocols:

  • Full-day trainings and convenings facilitated by the national Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) are postponed indefinitely
  • Trainings up to 4 hours long will be cancelled and may be rescheduled as webinars or phone-based technical assistance. Please be on the lookout for additional communication about specific trainings
  • Our team will continue working with community partners to provide trainings and convenings by alternate means for the next 1-3 months
  • Syringe and naloxone access is considered an essential service, and The DOPE Project will continue supporting distribution sites in San Francisco as long as possible

For more questions, please reach out to hrc@harmreduction.org

Training is critical to our mission; however, the World Health Organization has classified COVID-19 as a pandemic and both non-essential travel and in-person gatherings of more than 20 people are strongly discouraged at this time.  

How does canceling trainings and gatherings reduce risk? 

  • A recent article in The Lancet medical journal based on the experience in Wuhan, China, shows that the median duration of viral shedding of COVID-19 patients was 20 days from illness onset (with the shortest duration being 8 days, and the longest 37). 
  • It is believed that asymptomatic transmission is possible, which could make it difficult for our staff to recognize and self-quarantine in the event of exposure. 
  • Based on lessons from Italy, South Korea, China and other countries, HRC is synthesizing information to help reduce risk of exposure for the most vulnerable people in our communities while continuing to support infectious disease and overdose prevention and care for people who use drugs. 
  • Assuming COVID-19 has an R0 of 2-3 (meaning one individual would transmit to at least 2-3 other people) — the principle of social distancing suggests that countries can lower the acuity of cases through self-isolation because this prevents people who are more vulnerable from getting sick all at one time, which could overwhelm current hospital capacity. 

Please see these resources for additional guidance for people who use drugs and harm reduction programs during COVID-19.


Harm Reduction, COVID-19 and People Who Use Drugs: Virtual Office Hours with Harm Reduction Coalition

Join Harm Reduction Coalition for virtual office hours to ask questions about the impact of COVID-19 on harm reduction programs, syringe service programs, or outreach work for people who use drugs, sex workers, and people vulnerable to structural violence. 

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