Frequently Asked Questions

How does the new order from the Secretary of Health regarding testing of residents/staff of skilled nursing facilities affect me as an EMS provider?

The PA DOH has released guidance about Testing of Residents/Staff in Skilled Nursing Facilities. This has caused some confusion within the EMS community. This document provides some helpful answers to FAQs.

What is the status of hospital beds in my area?

The PA DOH has released a Hospital Preparedness Dashboard. Please visit this page for further information.

When can I return to work after a COVID-19 exposure?
What PPE should I wear?
Can I use albuterol for patients in the prehospital setting?
Can EMS collect nasopharyngeal swabs?
How many cases of COVID-19 are there in PA?
Can I re-use my N95 mask?
How can I obtain more PPE for my department?
Are there new rules about EMS crew staffing?
I’m being told to take a patient to a site other than a hospital – is this OK?

The rules regarding ambulance transport definitions have changed to allow for hospitals to set up “hospitals without walls”. Please see the following CMS bulletin for information regarding these changes.

Are there really changes to HIPAA during the pandemic? What about EMTALA?

Yes, there have been changes. Please see the following links for more information.

Which critical care transport agencies will transport COVID-19 positive patients? Will they fly them?

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