On March 12, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia in response to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. The White House has also declared COVID-19 a national emergency.
Pursuant to these emergency declarations, the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) is suspending trauma center designation site reviews for ninety (90) days, effective March 18, 2020. At the end of this 90 day period, the suspension will be re-evaluated to determine if an extension is warranted.
All trauma centers whose designation expires during this period will receive an automatic extension of its designation. This extension will be effective until a verification site review can be rescheduled and conducted.
Factors taken into account in making the decision to suspend designation reviews were numerous. They include the safety of our site review teams; the site review team members being physicians, nurses, and administrators with increased workloads in their primary jobs; and, the designation process creating strain on hospital trauma personnel during normal times.
OEMS is grateful for the diligence, caring, and compassion of the hospitals and personnel on the front lines dealing with the COVID-19 emergency. We will continue to provide updates on this situation as they become available.