SEMSA along with other EMS services have a key role in responding to calls for emergency medical assistance by providing treatment and transport for sick and/or injured persons. Please know that the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has developed comprehensive guidance for its EMS partners, providers and agencies. This guidance has been developed in conjunction with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), as well as our federal and local partners including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Local Emergency Medical Services Agencies (LEMSAs) The California Emergency Medical Services Authority has adopted the standardized EMS guidance provided by the CDC in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people of all ages with severe chronic medical conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
Also according to the CDC different parts of the United States are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is currently in the initiation phases, but states where community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase. The duration and severity of each phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
CDC and state and local public health laboratories are testing for the virus that causes COVID-19.
More and more states are reporting cases of COVID-19 to CDC.
U.S. COVID-19 cases include:
o Imported cases in travelers
o Cases among close contacts of a known case
o Community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown.
Efforts at this time are focused concurrently on lessening the spread and impact of this virus. The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat.
The CDC Recommends:
Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat: o Individuals and communities should familiarize themselves with recommendations to protect themselves and their communities from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.
Older people and people with severe chronic conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home. o If you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.
For people who are ill with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.