featured graphic for California Poison Control during COVID-19

California Poison Control launches COVID-19 Education Campaign

As California and the nation sees the daily rate of COVID-19 infections soaring, California Poison Control System (CPCS), the largest single provider of poison control services in the U.S., has launched an initiative to deliver educational PSAs, masks with COVID-19 poison prevention messaging, as well as educational information in English and Spanish. The goal is to provide the public with COVID-19 poison prevention information, as there has been a 20 percent increase in fatal and non-fatal poisonings in California since the pandemic began.

“Over the past months, we have seen many confusing or inaccurate messages about COVID-19 cures or treatments,” said Rais Vohra, MD, FACEP, FACMT, Medical Director, California Poison Control System Fresno-Madera Division and Interim Health Officer, Fresno County Department of Public Health. “The information is not only dangerous, but has been deadly. Our primary goal is to reach both the general public as well as underserved communities in California that still do not have masks available.” Dr. Vohra says mask distributions are planned for both farmworkers and Indigenous people, two groups suffering from COVID-19 and lack of resources within their communities.

The program, funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), improves the capacity of California Poison Control to respond to COVID-19 related poisonings and includes:

  • English and Spanish PSAs with closed captioning, covering poison prevention, pseudo cures and how to properly clean purchased fruits and vegetables. View here:
  • Non-medical grade masks printed with CPCS’s 24-hour toll-free telephone hotline and a QR code for public access to COVID-19 related poisoning prevention; mask is two-ply, washable and reusable.
  • Digital flyer in English and Spanish.

For more information, contact Neliza Pallesco, MPH, CHES, Health Education Program Manager, California Poison Control System, O: 415-345-0828; C: 628-758-2426; Fax: 415-502-8620; email: [email protected]

About California Poison Control

CPCS is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date information regarding poison prevention. In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call the nationwide number from any state at 1-800-222-1222. Pharmacists, nurses, physician-toxicologists and poison information providers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help. Weekly tips about safety are available by texting TIPS to 20121 for information in English or text PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow California Poison Control System on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

This article was released by California Poison Control.