Coronavirus – 2019 (COVID-19) Resources

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THE LINKS BELOW ARE LIVE AND THE INFORMATION SHARED IN THEM IS UPDATED FREQUENTLY!

The Office of EMS continues to monitor the ongoing situation regarding the spread of COVID-19, including information on various topics related to the COVID-19.  This includes personal protective equipment, decontamination, signs and symptoms, and other information designed to assist public safety agencies in responding to this incident. The following information is included on this page:

Office of EMS Specific Information

  • Division of Community Health and Technical Assistance
    • EMS Transport to Alternate Sites White Paper
  • Division of Accreditation, Certification & Education
    • Certifications
    • Continuing Education
    • National Registry
    • National Registry & Virginia Provisional Certifications - (Advanced EMT and Paramedic ONLY!)
    • National Registry Cognitive Examinations
    • Certification Testing Changes - State and National Registry
  • Regulation and Compliance
    • Antigen Testing Guidance
    • Vaccine Administration Guidance
    • Immunization Guide for EMS Personnel in Virginia
    • Vaccination Toolkit for EMS Medical Directors

General COVID-19 Disease Information

  • Antigen Test Kit Expiration Date Memo New!
  • FAQ about EMS Workplaces and COVID-19 Restrictions/Precautions (06/09/21)
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance
  • National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Information
  • COVID-19 Mental Health Resources for First Responders
  • Guidance for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP)
  • CDC Guidance for EMS for Response to COVID-19
  • Signs and Symptoms
  • Healthcare Provider Exposure
  • COVID-19 in Virginia
  • Additional Websites
  • Printable Educational Materials

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

Statewide Emergency Vendor List

The Emergency Vendor List includes vendors used by the Va. Dept. of Emergency Management (VDEM) and Va. Dept. of General Services – Division of Purchases & Supply (DPS) during a “state of public emergency”.  The list may be utilized to quickly obtain supplies and services to provide assistance to those in need.

Several vendors have been awarded contracts and the information can be found within the spreadsheet. For vendors that do not currently have a contract, use the list as a source of supply and procure in accordance with the Agency Procurement and Surplus Property Manual, Chapter 9 Emergency Procurement.

DPS does not endorse nor suggest any vendor appearing on the emergency vendor lists.  Agencies are required to conduct their own due diligence prior to procuring from any vendor listed.

https://dgs.virginia.gov/procurement/resources/eva-emergency-vendor-list/

Division of Community Health and Technical Assistance

EMS Transport to Alternate Sites White Paper

Division of Accreditation, Certification & Education

Certifications
  • The Office of EMS Management Team has decided not to continue extending certification expiration dates effective June 1, 2020.  If a provider does not meet their required continuing education hours by the last day of their certification expiration month, the provider will go into reentry per our normal regulatory requirements.
  • Education Coordinator Candidate Eligibility Window - Due to Executive Orders 51, 63, 67 & 72 as amended, the Virginia Office of EMS will be extending the eligibility dates for Education Coordinator Candidates.  EC Candidates with an eligibility expiration of December 31, 2020 through December 31, 2021 will be extended until June 30, 2022.
  • Education Coordinator Certification Extension - Due to Executive Orders 51, 63, 67 & 72 as amended, the Virginia Office of EMS will be extending the Education Coordinator certification dates with an expiration date of December 31, 2020 through December 31, 2021 until June 30, 2022.
All CE is available through online resources, and providers are encouraged to use those resources.  https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/emergency-medical-services/education-certification/provider-resources/web-based-continuing-education/
  • On Wednesday, June 9, 2021, The National Registry's Board of Directors responded by announcing the decision to waive the Distributive Education (DE) limits in the NCCP Model for the 2022 recertification season to ensure EMS professionals could maintain their national certification while assuring continued competency.
  • On December 18, 2020, to assist state EMS offices with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors took action to further extend the Provisional Certification deadline until June 30, 2021.
  • National Registry Provisional Certifications will continue to be issued until June 30, 2021.
  • Provisional Certification will be automatically assigned to any candidate that;
    • Completes an educational program at the EMR, EMT, AEMT or Paramedic level, and
    • Successfully passes the National Registry’s cognitive (computer-based) examination.
  • Provisional certification is a National Registry certification but is not the same as being fully Nationally Registered.
  • The path to convert a provisional certification to full Nationally Registry certification only requires successful completion of the psychomotor examination.
  • Provisional Certifications will remain valid through the end of next year – December 31, 2021; or until an EMS provider passes the psychomotor examination before the expiration date.
  • Please check with your State EMS Office for state rules on using provisional certifications for licensure or authorization to practice.
Anyone with questions should contact Debbie Akers (deborah.t.akers@vdh.virginia.gov).
  • National Registry & Virginia have restarted the process of scheduling NREMT psychomotor exams.
  • For those who were not able to take their NREMT psychomotor exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of the National Registry has approved the issuance of a provisional certification. In Virginia, this will only impact the Advanced EMT and Paramedic certification levels. A provisional National Registry certification is issued when a student:
    1. completes their certification program according to state or CoAEMSP requirements, and
    2. sits for and passes the National Registry cognitive exam.
    3. When these items are completed, a 2‐year provisional National Registry certification will be issued. The issued certification will clearly indicate the awarding of provisional certification pending completion of the psychomotor exam when successfully completed.
  • Provisional certifications can be converted to full certification once the COVID‐19 threat is mitigated and the student takes and passes their NREMT required psychomotor exam.
  • Virginia has begun accepting and likewise issuing provisional certifications cards when the National Registry transmits these results to us. Please see the sample provisional Virginia certification card. We are providing this sample to you so that you are aware of what we will be issuing during the COVID‐19 pandemic. The sample is highlighted to indicate the changes that will be made to certification cards issued under this provisional authority.
  • The issuance of a provisional certification by the Virginia Office of EMS is not reflective that the Office is restricting provider practice. The ability for a provider to practice is solely up to the EMS Agency and the agency’s Operational Medical Director. We are issuing provisional certifications as a means of ensuring that we have a mechanism to track these providers and ensure that they complete their certification process once the COVID‐19 threat is mitigated.
  • When being scheduled for work, National Registry strongly urges that no two provisionally certified providers work on the same truck. There should always be a fully certified provider riding with a provisionally certified provider.
  • Should a provider who was granted provisional Virginia certification based off of a National Registry provisional certification not fulfill the requirements of their National Registry certification, their Virginia certification will automatically expire.
NREMT currently offers two different options for taking the cognitive exams: face-to-face exams at a Pearson VUE Testing Center and remotely proctored exams making use of Pearson OnVUE.
  • Candidates, when applying for their cognitive exam have the opportunity to select whether they would like to take their exam face-to-face exams at a Pearson VUE Testing Center or a remotely proctored exam on Pearson OnVUE.
  • If a candidate decides to change their method of testing from face-to-face to Pearson OnVUE or vice versa, they can do so, however the issuance of a new ATT letter will take at least 24 hours to generate before they can then schedule the examination through the process they have chosen.

BLS Certification Testing

  • Cognitive Exams – The National Registry is working to ramp up Pearson OnVUE Testing remotely proctored cognitive exams the BLS candidates.  For candidates who are unable to access testing at a Pearson Test Center due to lack of available seats, they can begin using Pearson OnVUE May, 12, 2020.  Please direct your candidates to learn more about Pearson OnVUE Remote Proctored Exams by visiting: https://home.pearsonvue.com/nremt/onvue
    • Pearson OnVUE remote proctoring will be temporary, however the National Registry is planning to implement a more permanent remote proctoring solution in 2021.
    • Once a candidate sits for and passes the National Registry Cognitive Exam, they will be issued a full National Registry and Virginia certification.
  • Psychomotor Exams – The Office of EMS Management Team has decided to cancel all further Consolidated Testing at the BLS level through December 31, 2021. Further consideration of when to restart Consolidated Testing will be determined later this year by the Training & Certification and Medical Direction Committees.

ALS Certification Testing

  • Advanced EMT Programs
    • Cognitive Exams – The National Registry is working to ramp up Pearson OnVUE remotely proctored cognitive exams the Advanced EMT candidates For candidates who are unable to access testing at a Pearson Test Center due to lack of available seats, they can begin using Pearson OnVUE May, 12, 2020.  Please direct your candidates to learn more about Pearson OnVUE Remote Proctored Exams by visiting: https://home.pearsonvue.com/nremt/onvue
      • Pearson OnVUE remote proctoring will be temporary, however the National Registry is planning to implement a more permanent remote proctoring solution in 2021.
      • Once a candidate sits for and passes the National Registry Cognitive Exam, they will be issued a provisional National Registry and provisional Virginia certification.
      • The candidate will have to complete and pass their National Registry psychomotor exam before full National Registry and Virginia certification will be issued.
      • Provisional certifications can be converted to full certification once the COVID-19 threat is mitigated and the student takes and passes their NREMT required psychomotor exam.
    • Psychomotor Exams – The Office will begin working with ALS programs and the National Registry to slowly ramp up ALS psychomotor testing in the Commonwealth once conditions on the ground permit this to happen.  The ALS Testing Calendar on the OEMS website can be found at:   https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/emergency-medical-services/virginia-national-registry-psychomotor-examination-schedule/
  • Paramedic Programs
    • Cognitive Exams – The National Registry is working to ramp up the availability of Pearson VUE Test Centers around the country in order to increase access to the cognitive exam for Paramedic candidates.  Paramedic candidates are required to take their cognitive exam at a Pearson VUE Test Centers—remote proctoring via Pearson OnVUE is not permitted for paramedic candidates.
      • Once a candidate sits for and passes the National Registry Cognitive Exam, they will be issued a provisional National Registry and provisional Virginia certification.
      • The candidate will have to complete and pass their National Registry psychomotor exam before full National Registry and Virginia certification will be issued.
      • Provisional certifications can be converted to full certification once the COVID-19 threat is mitigated and the student takes and passes their NREMT required psychomotor exam.
    • Psychomotor Exams – The Office will begin working with ALS programs and the National Registry to slowly ramp up ALS psychomotor testing in the Commonwealth once conditions on the ground permit this to happen.  The ALS Testing Calendar on the OEMS website can be found at:   https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/emergency-medical-services/virginia-national-registry-psychomotor-examination-schedule/

Regulation & Compliance

CDC Guidance for EMS Response to COVID-19
Guidance for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP)
Healthcare Provider Exposure to Coronavirus
  • Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2
  • If COVID-19 is identified, healthcare personnel are assessed and classified as high-, medium-, or low-risk depending on multiple factors
  • Exposure duration, patient symptoms, if patient was wearing facemask, aerosol-generating procedures, and type of PPE used by healthcare personnel
  • Recommendations for monitoring for COVID-19 and work restrictions depend on exposure risk classification
  • LHD will work with each facility to outline roles and responsibilities