Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers should be aware of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which was initially identified causing a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Infection has since spread to other parts of China and other countries, including the United States. For the latest information on Rhode Island specific COVID-19 numbers, see RIDOH's COVID-19 Disease Data webpage. Please consult the latest EMS provider advisories from CDC and RIDOH, as well as the UPDATED GUIDANCE FOR First Responders.
EMS providers who have no symptoms with COVID-19 may return to work after these three things have happened:
If the EMS provider tested positive and never had symptoms, they must wait 10 days after the first positive test before returning to work.
Except for rare situations, a test-based strategy is no longer recommended to decide when to end isolation.
Personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators (like N95s), facemasks (such as surgical masks), face shields and other eye protection, gowns, and gloves, are in short supply in Rhode Island and across the United States. At this time, we are exploring every opportunity available to obtain additional PPE. However, until the time that appropriate PPE is available, we provide guidance on the prioritization and conservation of PPE.
Educational videos on PPE produced by the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team (RI-DMAT):
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