Coronavirus resources and support. Learn more
CDC: Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United StatesApril 14, 2020
AUTHORITY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
DATE PRODUCED: Updated March 10, 2020
THE QUESTIONS IT ANSWERS:
- What modes of transportation are appropriate to transport individuals experiencing homelessness?
- What processes and barriers should be used in vehicles to transport individuals experiencing homelessness?
- What kind of PPE is required when transporting people suspected of COVID-19?
Emergency medical services (EMS) play a vital role in responding to requests for assistance, triaging patients, and providing emergency medical treatment and transport for ill persons. However, unlike patient care in the controlled environment of a healthcare facility, care and transports by EMS present unique challenges because of the nature of the setting, enclosed space during transport, frequent need for rapid medical decision-making, interventions with limited information, and a varying range of patient acuity and jurisdictional healthcare resources.
When preparing for and responding to patients with confirmed or possible coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), close coordination and effective communications are important among 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs)— commonly known as 911 call centers, the EMS system, healthcare facilities, and the public health system. Each PSAP and EMS system should seek the involvement of an EMS medical director to provide appropriate medical oversight. For the purposes of this guidance, “EMS clinician” means prehospital EMS and medical first responders. When COVID-19 is suspected in a patient needing emergency transport, prehospital care providers and healthcare facilities should be notified in advance that they may be caring for, transporting, or receiving a patient who may have COVID-19 infection.
Guidance was developed specifically for EMS vehicles, not personal vehicles or public transportation.