Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued updated
guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems and 911 Public
Safety Answering Points (PSAP’s) for COVID-19. This guidance
applies to all first responders, including law enforcement, fire
services, emergency medical services, and emergency management
officials, who anticipate close contact with persons with confirmed
or possible COVID-19 in the course of work.
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.
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.
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 Documents for Maintaining Emergency Services during a Pandemic
Maintaining Fire Department Capabilities During a Pandemic
Maintaining Emergency Medical Service Capabilities During a Pandemic
Maintaining Dispatch Capabilities During a Pandemic
EMS Alternate Transport Guidlines
documents. . .
at IDPH Website:
and at the Center for Disease Control (CDC):