1. Has Acadian responded to any calls where COVID-19 was suspected?

Yes. Like many EMS agencies across our service area and the country, we have received a number of calls from persons with suspected exposure. 

Our dispatch centers are currently screening every caller for COVID-19 symptoms and notifying our ambulance crews to utilize CDC recommended personal protective equipment as a precaution. 

2. Are there any precautions that your crews are taking when responding to a potential COVID-19 patient?

Yes, we are utilizing the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as recommended by the CDC. All of our ambulances are normally equipped with this equipment and proper donning and doffing of procedures are included in our annual training.

Ambulance crews are following our established procedures for infectious and communicable diseases for ambulance and equipment decontamination.

3. Is there a protocol in place if there is confirmation that a COVID-19 patient has been transported in an Acadian unit?

Yes, we have an established communicable disease protocol in place. Tracking and monitoring of communicable diseases are not new to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) / Acadian. We use the recommended guidelines for testing and monitoring of our employees.  

When a suspected communicable disease is present our medics utilize the recommended personal protective equipment. Healthcare workers who appropriately utilize the recommended PPE during an encounter with a known or possible COVID-19 patient are considered “low risk.” 

Acadian has a robust occupational health program and maintains close oversight over medics who are self-monitoring after suspected and confirmed encounters with communicable diseases like COVID-19. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines on healthcare worker monitoring and make any changes as recommended. 

All equipment, including the ambulance, is sanitized and disposable supplies are discarded as per CDC guidelines and infection prevention protocols. 

4. What happens if a medic shows symptoms COVID-19?

Acadian has a robust occupational health program and maintains close oversight over medics who experience suspected or confirmed encounters with communicable or infectious diseases like COVID-19.

In the event a medic shows signs and symptoms of COVID-19, the medic shall follow the guidelines of our communicable disease protocol, CDC guidelines as well as local, state and federal guidelines as needed. 

If a medic/employee develops fever or signs of COVID-19, he/she is immediately removed from patient care duties and follows CDC recommendations for isolation/quarantine. They will not be returned to work until cleared by Acadian’s medical directors, Acadian’s occupational health directors and local public health authorities.

5. What are some preventative measures I can take?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects & surfaces using a regular household cleaning wipe or spray.

 

CDC Recommendations

Home and family: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/index.html

General workplace: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Cleaning and disinfection: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

 

Questions or concerns?

Reach out to your physician or healthcare provider for more information and guidance.

 

Information issue date: March 11, 2020