For First Responders
EMS clinicians who will directly care for a patient with possible COVID-19 infection or who will be in the compartment with the patient should follow standard precautions and use the PPE as described below.
• Recommended PPE includes: N-95 or higher-level respirator or facemask (if a respirator is not available), N95 respirators or respirators that offer a higher level of protection should be used instead of a facemask when performing or present for an aerosol-generating procedure.
• Eye protection (i.e., goggles or disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face). Personal eyeglasses and contact lenses are NOT considered adequate eye protection.
• A single pair of disposable patient examination gloves. Change gloves if they become torn or heavily contaminated, and isolation gown.
Drivers, if they provide direct patient care (e.g., moving patients onto stretchers), should wear all recommended PPE. After completing patient care and before entering an isolated driver’s compartment, the driver should remove and dispose of PPE and perform hand hygiene to avoid soiling the compartment.
If the transport vehicle does not have an isolated driver’s compartment, the driver should remove the face shield or goggles, gown and gloves and perform hand hygiene.
A respirator or facemask should continue to be used during transport. All personnel should avoid touching their face while working. On arrival, after the patient is released to the facility, EMS clinicians should remove and discard PPE and perform hand hygiene. Used PPE should be discarded in accordance with routine procedures.
Law enforcement who must make contact with individuals confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 should follow CDC’s Interim Guidance for EMS.
Different styles of PPE may be necessary to perform operational duties. These alternative styles (i.e. coveralls) must provide protection that is at least as great as that provided by the minimum amount of PPE recommended. The minimum PPE recommended is: A single pair of disposable examination gloves, Disposable isolation gown or single-use/disposable coveralls*, Any NIOSH-approved particulate respirator (i.e., N-95 or higher-level respirator), and Eye protection (i.e., goggles or disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face)
*If unable to wear a disposable gown or coveralls because it limits access to duty belt and gear, ensure duty belt and gear are disinfected after contact with individual.