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Article: Tabletop exercise to prepare institutions of higher education for an outbreak of COVID-19

Aaron M. Wendelboe, PhD, Amanda Miller, JD, CRM, Douglas Drevets, MD, Linda Salinas, MD, E. J. Miller, Dalton Jackson, Ann Chou, PhD, Jill Raines, JD, Public Health Working Group


Preparing for public health emergencies is an ongoing process and involves a variety of approaches and tools. Tabletop exercises are one of the tools designed to simulate the emergence of a public health emergency and address some or all of the phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.1 They typically are designed to include participation of stakeholders from diverse and complementary backgrounds, including command, operations, logistics, planning, and finance.2 Effective tabletop exercises provide a plausible scenario that require cooperation and communication from these functional areas. Tabletops also require forward thinking and planning in a variety of scenarios. When a public health emergency occurs, decision makers may be overwhelmed with decisions that need their immediate attention. Tabletop exercises can provide a framework to help decision makers anticipate future challenges, which may provide the mental model encompassing knowledge and insights that inform both current and future decisions.


COVI-19, pandemic, public health, emergency

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