THE LATEST NEWS
- Cases of COVID-19 have spread to more countries on all continents except Antarctica.
- There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Virginia.
- It’s still important to protect yourself from other active communicable diseases, like influenza and the common cold. If you’re sick, stay home!
WHAT WE’RE DOING
- Our 911 center (“ECCS”) has been screening callers to see if patients have COVID-19 risk factors. If such risk factors are present, crews will be advised by voice and in the case comments.
- We’ve been working with the supply officers at the volunteer rescue squads to select, procure, and deploy certain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- We placed an order for several hundred N-95 masks that a vendor gave us priority access to.
- We’ve identified local and regional contingency stockpiles of PPE, including N-95 masks.
- We’re receiving scheduled situation reports from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Local elements of the National Response Framework (NRF) Emergency Support Function 8 (“ESF-8”) will be convening starting Monday to coordinate their efforts more closely. (Recall from your NIMS ICS classes that this means that officials from public health and medical services will be working hand-in-hand to prepare and take precautionary actions.)
- EMS Department leadership will be having weekly status meetings starting this coming Tuesday morning.
- We’ve been researching how other localities have responded to historical respiratory illness outbreaks.
CHALLENGES WE’RE FACING
- Market clampdowns and shortages are interfering with our ability to procure PPE.
- Local and regional stockpiles of PPE are limited and will potentially be in high demand.
- Predictable seasonal illnesses like influenza and the common cold are still causing increased demand for EMS services and decreased EMS staffing.
GUIDANCE AND REMINDERS
Please review the following material carefully:
— Division Chief Kevin Lipscomb, NRP
— Regulation & Support Services
— Va Beach EMS Department
— “EMS Chief 7” (ECH07)