Planning a Response to COVID-19
Robbinsville High School
In this case study, students assume the role of health officials tasked with communicating to the public about the COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Topics covered include viral structure and life cycles and resulting public health issues. Students examine and improve upon recommendations and procedures set forth by local authorities as well as national groups such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Students produce press releases, infographics detailing the disease, and a preparedness plan for their school or community. This case was written for an AP biology course, but could easily be modified for an introductory biology or public health course at the college level. It could also be taught as part of a microbiology unit or as an introduction to public health and the response to pandemics. Although the focus is on COVID-19, the structure of the case may be applied to any emerging infectious disease, e.g., influenza, Ebola, West Nile, Zika, etc.
- Describe viral structure and life cycles.
- Describe COVID-19 characteristics, including causes, symptoms, transmission, and treatments.
- Critically evaluate and explain public health issues surrounding COVID-19 and other novel human diseases, including but not limited to social restrictions, government preparation, and healthcare systems response.
- Use data and official scientific recommendations to develop a localized, immediately useful plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other droplet-transmitted diseases.
KeywordsCOVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; infectious diseases; public health; outbreak; pandemic; virus; emerging disease; preparedness; response
Topical AreasRegulatory issues, Science and the media, Social issues
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsN/A, Role-Play
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Epidemiology | Microbiology | Public Health |
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