RESOURCES & UPDATES
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program - COVID-19
NOTE: If you are going to apply for this funding opportunity and have not obtained a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and/or are not currently registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), please take immediate action to obtain a DUNS Number, if applicable, and then to register immediately in SAM. It may take four weeks or more after you submit your SAM registration before your registration is active in SAM, then an additional 24 hours for Grants.gov to recognize your information. Information on obtaining a DUNS number and registering in SAM is available from Grants.gov at: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html. Detailed information regarding DUNS and SAM is also provided in Section D – Application and Submission Information of this NOFO, subsection, Content and Form of Application Submission. An active registration is required in order to apply for funding.
DHS Health Alert – COVID-19: Health Alert #6
New website enables health care providers to request COVID-19 lab testing supplies
Providers encouraged to visit covid19supplies.wi.gov/Testing
On Monday, April 20, the State of Wisconsin launched a new website for health care providers to request COVID-19 testing supplies. The website URL is covid19supplies.wi.gov/Testing.
The State of Wisconsin is making supplies available to facilitate laboratory COVID-19 testing at no charge for qualifying Wisconsin clinicians, local and tribal health centers, clinical laboratories and others collecting specimens in response to COVID-19. The supplies provided through the site are intended to help Wisconsin achieve the goal of providing testing for all who have influenza like illness symptoms.
Testing supplies available through covid19supplies.wi.gov/Testing include:
TM/Swab Only – Room Temperature Stable: specimen collection materials including commercial M4 room temperature stable viral transport media (VTM) and a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab. NOTE: these are currently in very limited supply.
VTM/Swab Only – Refrigerated: specimen collection materials including FDA approved CDC protocol VTM and a NP swab. NOTE: materials require refrigerated storage.
VTM/Swab/Diagnostic Testing – Exact Sciences: specimen collection materials including room temperature stable saline VTM and a NP swab including specimen analysis at Exact Sciences. NOTE: media specifically validated for testing to be performed solely at Exact Sciences. For more information go to: Exact Sciences
The supplies and laboratory services available through the site are intended to expand Wisconsin’s existing COVID-19 testing capacity. Please do not use these supplies and services as a substitution for using your own existing testing resources.
Health care providers can find other HAN alerts and information on COVID-19 at dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/providers.htm.
Shared Resources: Mutual Aid Agreement
Below are two Word Documents. One is our original mutual aid agreement. The other is a “fillable” copy of the mutual aid agreement to quickly fill in your agency information. To complete the fillable form, please click “view” in the upper left corner and click “edit document”.
The attached agreement was the “final version”. I mention this because the agreement was vetted by the municipal attorney’s for each participating municipality prior to approval, and some small changes did occur as a result of that process. I would recommend that everyone who chooses to use it should apply that same internal vetting process.
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act provides emergency assistance to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. In part, the Act provides much needed relief to employers in the form of tax credits while employees take time off using the Act’s sick leave and family leave programs. The Act also provides self-employed individuals with comparable tax credits against their self-employment tax. von Briesen has also released a detailed discussion of the non-tax aspects of the Act which analyzes the obligations of employers. That Legal Update can be found here.
3/20: A joint letter that NAEMT signed to make a permanent extension of the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (VRIPA; S. 1210, H.R. 1241) in any legislation to address the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The VRIPA provides a crucial tool for local communities to ensure they have enough volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to guard against a wide variety of emergencies, including stopping the spread of COVID-19.
The VRIPA expires at the end of this year. Without an extension of the VRIPA, volunteer and combination fire departments and EMS agencies will be challenged to recruit and retain volunteer personnel due to overly burdensome tax regulations.
3/20: The COVID-19 Pre-hospital Screening Worksheet is now active in Elite. When the primary impression on the state form is selected to be “Infectious – Fever” or “Infectious – Influenza (flu-like) symptoms” the worksheet will flag for completion. We’ve activated this worksheet to get a better handle on the prehospital data for COVID-19. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
3/20: The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are working together to determine the emerging and urgent child care needs of medical professionals and essential staff due to COVID-19.
Please note that you are receiving this survey in order for the State of Wisconsin to help ensure that you have access to child care to address your families’ needs during this evolving pandemic.
If you have an immediate need or anticipate having a need for child care, please take 3 minutes to complete this survey. Please complete within the next 24 hours or as soon as possible. Please include as much information as possible when filling out this survey.
We are working with child care programs in your community to prioritize and ensure care for families of essential services providers, first responders, and medical professionals during this critical time.
We appreciate all you are doing to help keep our children, families and the community safe and healthy during these uncertain times.
Thank you in advance for completing this survey as soon as possible!
WI DHS: Outbreaks and Investigations
Tracking of Covid19 in Wisconsin. The site is updated daily by 2 PM.
Wisconsin has now seen multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19. And with more testing facilities online, we can expect to see even more cases. Identifying cases allows DHS and our local partners to move quickly to isolate a case and possibly contain the spread of the virus.
You can help do that by following basic hygiene practices. Wash your hands with soap and water, cover your coughs, and if you are sick - stay home
3/20: National Registry Extends 2020 Recertification Deadline; Modifies Requirements
MARCH 13, 2020
Columbus OH — As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians today announced two important modifications to the current recertification cycle for Nationally Registered EMS personnel.
The National Registry's Board of Directors approved a motion extending the current recertification deadline from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Additionally, for Registrants due to recertify March 31, 2020 Distributive Education (DE) limitations will be removed. This allows all continuing education to be accomplished outside of classrooms.
“Given the dynamic nature of this global pandemic, the focus of our nation's EMS personnel should remain on personal well-being, patient safety and supporting their communities in need,” said Bill Seifarth, Executive Director of the National Registry.
3/20: National Registry Board Approves Provisional Certification
MARCH 19, 2020
Responding to the nationwide need for Emergency Medical Services personnel and the social-distancing public health guidance, the Executive Committee of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians gave emergency approval to add a Provisional Certification. The Provisional Certification will be automatically assigned to any candidate that (1) completes an educational program at the EMR, EMT, AEMT or Paramedic level and (2) successfully passes the National Registry's cognitive examination. The requirement for completing the psychomotor examination is suspended for the duration of the national emergency or until psychomotor examinations can be safely reinstated in the United States.
“This is a vital step in ensuring that we are able to continue to get qualified and competent EMS personnel into our communities during this national emergency,” said Bill Seifarth, executive director of the National Registry. “This decision, along with this pandemic, is evolving and requires swift, bold measures to ensure the continued safety and health of the public.”
This document was created using official or best practice information taken from multiple organizations that was vetted and assembled by subject matter experts working for the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The aim was not to develop novel guidance for emergency medical services (EMS) agencies, but to unify multiple sources of information in a single planning document addressing the full spectrum of infectious agents to create a concise reference resource for EMS agencies developing their service policies. This document does not represent official policy of HHS/ASPR or other federal or private agencies.
International Fire Chiefs Association (IAFCA)
As fire and EMS agencies consider how to best prepare for, and respond to, occurrences of the COVID-19, all fire chiefs are encouraged to review the following materials.
NETEC: Personal Protective Equipment for Novel Corona Virus (Covid19)
3/20: Guidance for the donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for 2019-nCoV/COVID-19 following the CDC guidelines: Standard, Contact, and Airborne Precautions.
Following President Donald J. Trump’s emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.