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2020 Interim Position Statement Process

Adjusted due to COVID-19

NOW AVAILABLE: The two 2020 interim position statements approved by the CSTE Executive Board are now available in the position statement archive.


  • In response to the cancellation of the 2020 CSTE Annual Conference and Business Meeting, the CSTE Executive Board has approved the use of the interim position statement process during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the time-sensitive policy issues and case definitions that would have been presented at the conference for membership consideration.
  • The interim position statement process is used for urgent or time-sensitive issues that must be addressed between annual business meetings. Interim position statements are voted on and approved solely by the Executive Board to become immediate CSTE policy until the next CSTE Business Meeting, at which time any interim position statement must be ratified or it becomes null.
  • The Executive Board has opted to seek broad membership review and vetting prior to the Executive Board approval process.


  • Submission: Three time-sensitive 2020 interim position statements were submitted to the National Office by August 7, 2020.
  • Membership vetting: Once the 2020 interim position statements are available to CSTE members on the members-only side of the CSTE website, the National Office will host a discussion webinar that will be open to all members, with special emphasis for feedback from the Infectious Disease Steering Committee.
  • Executive Board review and voting: Each position statement will be presented to the Executive Board by the submitting author prior to Executive Board voting procedures. The Executive Board approved two 2020 interim position statements on October 9, 2020. After approval, the National Office will perform its final technical review, post the approved position statements in the CSTE Position Statement Archive, and notify relevant Agencies for Response and Information.
  • Ratification: Each interim position statement must be ratified at the next CSTE Business Meeting or it will become null.

Introduction to Position Statement Process

  • Position statements allow CSTE members to standardize surveillance case definitions, maintain the Nationally Notifiable Condition List, and address policy issues that could affect state or local law, rules or regulations. Position statements are submitted each spring and then discussed and voted on by the CSTE membership at the Annual Conference in June. Position statement authors must be active CSTE members, although associate members may be co-authors.
  • There are three mechanisms to submit a position statement for consideration by the CSTE membership and discussion at the CSTE Business Meeting: ordinary process, expedited handling, and presidential review.

View past CSTE Position Statements:

For details on each mechanism's deadline and criteria for acceptability:

Position Statement Timeline

The position statement timeline is defined in CSTE's Policies and Procedures and thus deadlines are adhered to.

Position Statement Mechanism Submission Deadline Criteria for Acceptability
Ordinary Process 13 weeks before Business Meeting
  • Must be sponsored by a CSTE Active Member.
  • Must use current and appropriate position statement template.
Expedited Handling 3 weeks before Business Meeting As judged by the current CSTE Secretary-Treasurer:
  • Issue is time-sensitive
  • Issue has substantial importance due to its impact on public health
  • The quality of the draft position statement is adequate
  • The chair of the appropriate committee agrees to accept the proposal into the Expedited Handling process.
Presidential Review Between 3 weeks and 48 hours before Business Meeting
  • Issue is extremely urgent and relevant, as judged by current CSTE President

Interim Position Statements: Urgent or time-sensitive issues that must be addressed between annual business meetings may be submitted as interim position statements. Interim position statements are approved by the CSTE Executive Board and immediately become official policy of CSTE until the next CSTE Business Meeting, when they must be ratified or they will become null. Interim position statements are posted to the CSTE website immediately after approval by the Executive Board.

Descriptions of Position Statement Types

2021 Position Statement templates are now available. Please see below for view-only templates. To request an editable 2021 position statement template, please complete a template request form by clicking here.

Policy position statements are intended for issues that would require a vote by the Council because they may result in changes to state or local law, rules or regulations. Note: All other policy issues, resolutions, etc. that would not require legal changes at the state or local level should be addressed via the process for CSTE Briefs.

The format of policy position statements follows:

  • Statement of the problem
  • Statement of the desired action(s) to be taken
  • Public health impact
  • Revision history
  • References
  • Coordination
  • Author Information

Standardized surveillance position statements are intended to standardize case definitions for diseases or conditions of importance that state and local health departments can adopt for daily surveillance activities. Each position statement contains a technical supplement that translates the narrative case definition to machine-processable logic that can be implemented in surveillance systems. These position statements also may recommend that a disease or condition be added to, updated, or removed from the Nationally Notifiable Conditions (NNC) List that CSTE and CDC maintain annually.

The format of standardized surveillance position statements is as follows:

  • Statement of the problem
  • Background and justification
  • Statement of the desired action(s) to be taken
  • Goals of surveillance
  • Methods for surveillance
  • Criteria for case ascertainment
  • Case definition for case classification
  • Period of surveillance
  • Data sharing/release and print criteria
  • Revision history
  • References
  • Coordination
  • Author Information
  • NNC Recommendation Statement (if appropriate)
  • Technical Supplement (required)

Position Statement Submission and Review Processes

  • Authors seeking to update an existing standardized surveillance case definition should reference previous CSTE position statements for the condition and describe the proposed updates in the position statement.
  • Authors are also encouraged to seek input from appropriate subject matter experts at the state, local, and federal levels during the position statement writing process.
  • The template must be completed in its entirety for both updated and new case definitions.
  • Final position statements should be able to "stand aloneā€ and contain all current information required to implement surveillance for the disease or condition.
  • To request an editable version of a position statement template, please complete this template request form.
  • Position statements should be submitted using the appropriate template. Submitted statements using the incorrect template will not be accepted by the National Office. All parts of the template must be complete upon submission, including any appendices and the technical supplement (for standardized surveillance position statements only).
  • All position statements must be submitted electronically to positionstatements@cste.org by the appropriate deadline.

Prior to CSTE Annual Conference

  • First round: The National Office reviews all submissions for completion and shares with select group of position statement SMEs for technical review.
  • Second round: The National Office shares submissions with appropriate CSTE Executive Board members (e.g., Steering Committee Chairs), who determine if submissions should move forward for consideration by all CSTE membership and provide feedback to authors. Once feedback is received, authors may edit their submissions prior to the National Office posting to the CSTE website.
  • Third round: The National Office will post approved submissions to the members-only side of the CSTE website for membership consideration prior to the CSTE Annual Conference. The National Office will also host position statement discussion webinars so authors may review their position statements with a broader audience prior to the conference.

At CSTE Annual Conference

  • Members are encouraged to attend the position statement discussions organized by CSTE Steering Committees, where each statement is presented by the author, discussed, and voted on. Note: An active member author is required to be at the Annual Conference to present the statement. Dates and times of the Steering Committee discussions vary but are available in the yearly CSTE Annual Conference agenda.
  • Position statements are put to two votes by the appropriate Steering Committee, the first to approve the position statement and the second to add the position statement to the CSTE Consent Calendar. The CSTE Consent Calendar is a method for position statements that have been deemed non-controversial to be voted upon all at once by the Council at the CSTE Business Meeting. In order for a Steering Committee to consider adding a position statement the CSTE Consent Calendar, a quorum of CSTE members must be met during the voting process. A quorum for position statement purposes is defined as at least one Active Member from ten or more states or U.S. territories represented in any Steering Committee Session.
  • If a position statement recommends adding a disease/condition to the NNC List or updates a disease/condition already on the NNC List, the accompanying NNC Recommendation Statement will be put to two votes as well, the first to approve the notifiability of the disease/condition and the second to add the NNC Recommendation Statement to the CSTE Consent Calendar.
  • Position statements approved by the Steering Committees are brought to the CSTE Business Meeting for final approval. This meeting occurs annually at the CSTE Annual Conference and typically occurs Thursday morning. At this meeting, representatives from state and territorial health agencies vote on the position statements. Each state and territory is given one vote.
  • Once approved, all position statements become CSTE policy.

After CSTE Annual Conference

  • The National Office conducts a final technical review of all approved position statements. This technical review may adjust formatting and consistency, and ensures the technical supplement is up-to-date after discussions and voting at the Annual Conference. All proposed, non-substantive edits will be shared with the submitting author. Once all approved position statements are finalized, CSTE will post them on the CSTE website and notify all agencies for response and information. The submitting author will be responsible for tracking the position statement during the year following its adoption.