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The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
Home » ASPHER Programme for Public Health Competencies » COVID-19 Task Force


22 Dec 2020
  In many ways it is a relief to reach the end of this long and difficult year as we turn to the hope of better days to come. However, it has also been an inspiration to the ASPHER Secretariat to see our Members and the Public Health community pull...
17 Nov 2020

ASPHER Secretariat hopes everyone in our Membership is well. This newsletter will find its way to you at a time when many European countries and beyond face various forms of lockdown to contain successive waves of COVID-19.
The November edition...
12 Oct 2020
MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARIAT Download the October 2020 Newsletter here. As noted by our most unflappable President in his newsletter message, early Autumn is always a busy time for Schools and as a Schools’ Association, ASPHER is no different! The...

COVID-19 Task Force

ASPHER has convened a COVID-19 Task Force to facilitate relevant networking necessary to respond to the current emergency. If you wish to participate in the ASPHER COVID-19 Taskforce, please contact Robert at:

COVID 19 Task Force Initatives

ASPHER COVID-19 Statement: ASPHER statement on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak emergency

Planning for a Second Wave Pandemic, Planning for Winter

subgroup webplatform

Planning for Winter Report: Planning for a second wave pandemic of COVID-19 and planning for winter

COVID-19 Lockdown Illnesses Report: What are the COVID-19 Lockdown-induced illnesses and why should European public health systems be investigating their epidemiology, treatment, and prevention?

COVID-19 Herd Immunity Report:  Getting Through the Pandemic in Europe in the Winter of 2020/21 The Misuse of COVID-19 Herd Immunity Argument

Vitamin D and COVID-19 Report: Vitamin D for Preventive and Adjunct Therapy for Mitigation of Early Stages of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome due to COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

De-escalation planning/regulations in aftermath: webplatform on the state of the emergence from lockdown and recovery

COVID-19 lockdown rules in selected European countries (30.12.2020) (including meeting indoors, meeting outdoors, pubs and bars, restaurants, entertainment, close contact retail, non-essential shops, universities, schools, public services, work places, travel in and out, wedding/funeral, places of worship, vaccination) (pdf version)

School's Reopening: July Rapid Response Survey Report


Handbook on Basic Epidemiological TermsHow to Count Illness: Basic epidemiological concepts for understanding the COVID-19 epidemic 

An updated version of How to Count Illness is coming soon!


Masks Use Statement: ASPHER Statement on the Strategic Use of Masks 

Masks Use Report: Technical Report: Strategic use of masks as an element of a non-pharmaceutical measures set for a pandemic 

Masks Use Infographic: Infographic: Protocol for Strategic Use of Masks 

Press Release

Mask Use by Children StatementASPHER Statement on the Use of Masks by Children (Updated 9 July 2020 and new translations)


COVID-19 Testing Statement: ASPHER Statement on the COVID-19 Testing 

COVID-19 Testing Report: Technical Report: COVID-19 testing: A reflection on test accuracy in the real world 

COVID-19 Testing Decision Tree: COVID-19 Testing decision tree

Surveillance and Tracking Applications

Surveillance/Tracking Apps Statement: ASPHER Statement – Contact Tracing Apps

Surveillance/Tracking Apps Report: Policy Report: Contact Tracing Apps for COVID-19 - An Overview of the European Region

Surveillance/Tracking Apps Basic Terms: Repository of Basic Technical Terms 

Inequalities and Vulnerable populations 

subgroup webplatform  

Inequalities and Vulnerable populations Statement:  First Statement of the ASPHER COVID-19 Task Group on Health Inequalities and Vulnerable Populations

Inequalities and Vulnerable populations Report: Ethical and Professional Guidance for Public Health Academics and Professionals: How should we evaluate Country-level Rapid Reviews of Pandemic Impacts on Health Inequalities and Vulnerable population groups? 

Inequalities Basic Terms: What is Inequality? Basic Health Inequality Concepts for Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic 

ASPHER Comment on PHRI Statement: ASPHER Comment on the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHRI) Satement of the 7 Aprl 2020 | Statement of PHRI calling on Israel to take measures to save lives

Children's Issues

ASPHER Statement on Children's Issues: First Statement of ASPHER on COVID-19 and its Impacts on Children During and After the Pandemic

Mask Use by Children StatementASPHER Statement on the Use of Masks by Children

Young Professionals Group

Call for Young Researcher collaborators on COVID-19

The ASPHER COVID-19 Taskforce is looking for motivated young researchers, students and alumni from our member schools who would be interested in contributing to time to specific topics related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Depending on their interest, this may be by working with the Young Professional sub-group to produce short 1000-word reports or more in depth collaboration with other sub-groups on longer ASPHER reports and position papers. Please disseminate this information to your best and brightest students and alumni and ask them to contact Ines Siepmann

The ASPHER COVID-19 Task Force is teaming up with the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) to provide rapid reporting for Cross Country Analysis on policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis. HSRM is a joint undertaking of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Commission, and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

Task Force Members

Chair: John MIDDLETON, ASPHER President


Henrique BARROS, University of Porto, PORTUGAL

Robert BUCKINGHAM, University of Michigan-Flint, USA 


Michaela COENEN, Pettenkofer SPH, Munich, GERMANY 

Kasia CZABANOWSKA, Maastricht University, THE NETHERLANDS

Nadav DAVIDOVITCH, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, ISRAEL

Jeannette DE BOER, NSPOH, Groningen, NETHERLANDS 

Alberto FERNÁNDEZ, EASP, Granada, SPAIN 

Manfred S. GREEN, University of Haifa, ISRAEL

Henrique LOPES, Catholic University, Lisbon, PORTUGAL 


Jose M MARTIN-MORENO, University of Valencia, SPAIN 

Amanda MASON-JONES, University of York, UK

Kai MICHELSEN, University of Applied Sciences, Fulda, GERMANY

Eva REHFUESS, Pettenkofer SPH, Munich, GERMANY 


Mohamud SHEEK-HUSSEIN, United Arab Emirates University, UAE 

Carlo SIGNORELLI, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, ITALY

Judit SIMON, Medical University of Vienna, AUSTRIA

Natia SKHVITARIDZE, School of Health Sciences, University of Georgia, GEORGIA