CDC Issues Updated COVID-19 Interim Guidelines for First Responders in US

Updated March 10, 2020 by Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

These updated COVID-19 interim guidelines apply to all first responders, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services (EMS), and emergency management officials, who anticipate close contact with persons with confirmed or possible COVID-19 in the course of their work.

Summary of Key Changes for the EMS Guidance:

Updated PPE recommendations for the care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19:

Facemasks are an acceptable alternative until the supply chain is restored. Respirators should be prioritized for procedures that are likely to generate respiratory aerosols, which would pose the highest exposure risk to HCP.

Eye protection, gown, and gloves continue to be recommended.

If there are shortages of gowns, they should be prioritized for aerosol-generating procedures, care activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated, and high-contact patient care activities that provide opportunities for transfer of pathogens to the hands and clothing of HCP.

When the supply chain is restored, fit-tested EMS clinicians should return to use of respirators for patients with known or suspected COVID-19.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for more details.

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