The REMS Council is receiving frequent updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. The Regional Medical Director is also aware of challenges or potential challenges for patient care, treatment, and transport related to COVID-19. There are frequent updates regarding transmission and a sustained demand for PPE is potentially going to impact patient care and EMS response in the region. There have been some initial discussions about treat/release, voluntary or even compelled transport denial using medical control. Some agencies have begun to look at staffing during surge capacity and PPE shortage. We encourage agencies to have discussions with PSAP’s, leadership, OMD’s, and DICO’s to plan for a variety of situations. Please review the Healthcare Personnel Risk Assessment tool and the surge capacity planning workbook on our website for a resource list.
The Regional Medical Director has provided information on the following page for guidelines and suggestions for focused exposure reduction during patient care. This will remain in effect throughout the designated Virginia State of Emergency. All providers and agencies are encouraged to limit procedures which generate aerosol that are not immediately life-saving procedures. In addition, several documents and links are available on our website from the Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization which provide information for healthcare providers. We encourage you to frequently review this and other information on our emergency preparedness page as it is updated and changing as new information is learned. Also, please help us to share this information as broadly as possible.
It is imperative that we maintain a well-prepared and educated public health response component of our regional EMS system. Should you have any questions or concerns, please seek clarifications and additional information from a reliable source. If you should need information, we continue to be an information clearinghouse and interagency liaison for the region. As such, we welcome your comments and feedback on how to serve you best. Thank you for your professionalism and dedication to the regional EMS system.