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Beginning Monday, January 4, the WVEMS Council will offer EMS providers no-cost rapid antigen testing for potential COVID-19 exposures, using the Abbott BinaxNow antigen test cards. If you believe that you MAY have been exposed to COVID-19, your agency's Designated Infection Control Officer (DICO) may request a rapid antigen test for you by contacting WVEMS by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

COVID-19 Testing Update

The CLIA Waiver for the Abbott BinaxNow test issued to WVEMS is available ONLY for tests administered and reported by the WVEMS Council, and is specific to the Abbott BinaxNow test. If your agency has obtained and is administering its own tests (Abbott or other), you must obtain a CLIA Waiver Certificate issued to your agency which lists your OMD as the Laboratory Director. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REGISTER A REPORTING PORTAL USING THE WVEMS COUNCIL'S CLIA WAIVER CERTIFICATE NUMBER.

Be aware that a CLIA Waiver is specific to the type of test used. At present, the only COVID-19 test covered by the WVEMS CLIA Waiver is the Abbott BinaxNow test. 

Your agency's DICO and OMD may designate others within your organization to request testing through WVEMS as part of your internal Infection Control protocols. 

 

DICO (or designee): To request an antigen test, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Include your telephone number and the name of your agency. A WVEMS staff member will contact you promptly to discuss eligibility and schedule the test.

Antigen testing MUST be conducted within the following timeframe

IF ASYMPTOMATIC: 5-8 days from exposure

IF SYMPTOMATIC: 7 days or less from exposure

Your DICO should make arrangements for testing as soon as possible after exposure to ensure scheduling the test within the required timeframe.

ATTENTION ALL AGENCY ADMINISTRATORS AND DICOs in the Western Virginia EMS Region: Please join one of the following virtual conferences to learn more about the Antigen Testing Program and how to request a test for a provider with possible COVID-19 exposure.

Friday January 8 - 2:00 pm

Friday January 8 - 7:00 pm

Click to join any of the above Antigen Testing Video Conferences 

https://bbb.vaems.org/b/rob-a4u-t9j

Call-in for Audio Only: 540.904.1652

Enter Conference Room # 11209

WVEMS holds CMS CLIA Waiver #49D0726034 authorizing this test under the oversight of its Regional Medical Director.

Every agency in the WVEMS region, every hospital, and the WVEMS Council have entered into an agreement whereby the hospitals offer a ONE-FOR-ONE exchange of supply items specifically listed on the Standard List of Restocked Items. Please be aware that the listed items are the ONLY supply items that you are permitted to exchange at any hospital within our region per the agreement, and the exchange is limited to ONE per patient. For example, if you use two EZ-IO needles on a patient due to a failed attempt, you are entitled to ONE exchange needle. Not two. Abuse of the ONE-FOR-ONE exchange jeopardizes our entire exchange process and could result in loss of all exchange privileges. Abuses of the exchange program will be reported to the provider's OMD and agency officials to be dealt with accordingly.


Please watch for more information regarding the exchange process for specific hospitals. Remember that this supply exchange program is a benefit provided through the generosity of our hospitals and it can be rescinded at any time.

The WVEMS Council recently received a Rescue Squad Assistance Fund grant from the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services for the purchase of i-gel® Resus Pack airways for the region. This grant is to assist in the conversion specified by the WVEMS Regional Medical Direction Committee in our most recent protocols. Your field coordinators have begun delivering the i-gel devices to the agencies for future implementation. 

All EMS agencies will receive one set of i-gel Resus Packs in sizes 3, 4 and 5 for each licensed EMS vehicle.  Once your agency has received the i-gels, your Operational Medical Director will determine when to implement them. 

All hospitals in our region have been contacted about i-gel implementation and exchange and they are working with their supply chains to ensure that you are able to exchange “i-gel for i-gel.”  While we are working to streamline this process, we appreciate your understanding if the hospital that you transport to does not have an i-gel for exchange, you may receive a King Airway instead of an i-gel until stock is depleted. Please note that the i-gel, like the King airways, will be available for a ONE-FOR-ONE exchange. 

We are currently working with Intersurgical (i-gel manufacturer) to have a live training session in each planning district.  We will keep you posted on the dates.  Below, you will find a video from Intersurgical with information and direction for placement of the i-gel Resus Pack.

i-gel® Placement Video

COVID 19 Protocol Image

WVEMS COVID-19 Protocols and Guidance Updated

The WVEMS Council’s Regional Medical Direction committee has continually updated the COVID-19 Protocol. A simplified version was recently posted.  The protocol includes a link to a reference document which will be updated continually.  In the protocol, there is a QR code and a clickable link to the reference document. Please use the link to access this information rather than printing it, as it will be updated frequently.

The linked document is a live document that will change fluidly, so reference the link or QR code often.  WVEMS Council will make every attempt to send out push notifications of revisions to this live document. However, please understand that our Regional Medical Direction Committee physicians are updating this document directly, so notice of revisions may not reach Council staff immediately. Please check the link often! 

Also, please see the attached document that outlines our UPDATED decontamination policy for drug boxes (sample attached).  When you exchange a drug box at a hospital or FSED, you must complete a Drug Box Decontamination Procedure Form. As we learn more about COVID-19, this document will  be revised again.  In the event that the details of this document change, we will communicate the changes with you and make sure that you have the most up-to-date information. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office or if you have specific protocol concerns or questions, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LINK TO WVEMS EMERGENCY COVID-19 PROTOCOL  (wvems.org/COVID-19)

pdf LINK TO DRUG BOX DECONTAMINATION DIRECTIVE (30 KB)

LINK TO GUIDANCE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FIRE SERVICE AGENCIES

pdf DRUG BOX DECON PROCEDURE FORM (51 KB)

Some hospital pharmacies within the WVEMS region are currently experiencing a shortage of Lidocaine pre-filled syringes. As a substitute, pharmacies will provide a 100mg/5ml vial of Lidocaine during the shortage. Boxes will be appropriately marked.

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