EMS Provisional Certification during the COVID -19 Pandemic Response

PHRNs, PHPA, PHAPN Seeking Provisional Certification (without completing required ALS calls as required in the rule) during COVID -19 Pandemic Response 


  • Must have completed the didactic portion of the pre-hospital course.
  • Must complete and pass a final pre-hospital or paramedic examination approved by the emergency medical services (EMS) system medical director
  • May seek provisional certification after completing course work and testing as approved by the EMS medical director
  • Prehospital registered nurses (PHRN), prehospital physicians (PHPA), and prehospital advance practice nurses (PHAPN) must operate in an Illinois EMS system. 
  • The PHRN, PHPA, or PHAPN may only operate with another Illinois licensed paramedic or PHRN with at least one-year experience. 

Guidelines on Hospital Emergency Preparedness During COVID-19

As Illinois and the country face the unprecedented public health emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are confronted with an extraordinarily high demand for health care services and must quickly implement actions to address the COVID-19 crisis. When health care providers are forced to operate at increased or full capacity, they must meet the needs of their individual patients and the collective needs of the community.

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) mission includes preventing disease and injury, developing population-based strategies to address public health issues, and advocating for equitable health care treatment during a pandemic such as COVID-19. This guidance provides a description of the state’s emergency operation framework, an overview of standards of care during COVID-19, and an ethical framework for administering health care during a pandemic.

Notice of Privacy Practices for COVID-19 Testing

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Review it carefully.

This notice gives you information, as required by law, about the duties and practices of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to protect the privacy of your personal health information. Because IDPH provides you COVID-19 testing, IDPH receives and maintains personal health information about you. IDPH may contract with companies, other government agencies, or individuals to help provide these services to you; therefore, contractors also may receive and maintain your personal health information.

The Effective Date of This Notice is April 15, 2020. IDPH is required to follow the terms of this notice until it is replaced. IDPH reserves the right to change the terms of the notice at any time and will provide an updated notice of any such changes.

Non-Discrimination in Medical Treatment Guidance

During a pandemic like COVID-19, health care providers are required to make difficult decisions concerning the allocation and rationing of limited health care resources, including staff, supplies, and space. As health care resources become scarce, hospitals and other health care institutions move through the continuum of care from conventional, to contingency, to crisis. This guidance seeks to remind the health care community of their ongoing obligations to render health care in an ethical and non-discriminatory manner, obligations even more critical when providers are operating beyond their capacity. Health care institutions and providers must ensure effective protocols are in place in order to support the delivery of ethical, non-discriminatory decisions, especially those related to the allocation and rationing of limited health care resources.

Individuals Undergoing COVID-19 Testing

What should you do about work while you wait for test results?

  • Please inform your supervisor at work that you have been tested for COVID-19 and note the date of testing.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms: Notify your supervisor and stay home.
  • If you are not experiencing symptoms: Request guidance from your supervisor on any potential work and patient care restrictions until you know your test results.
  • Avoid using public transportation, rise-sharing, or taxis when commuting.

What should you do to protect yourself while you wait for test results?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Short-Term Relief for COVID-19 Administrative Requirements Guidance

As of April 3, 2020

Grantees must contact their IDPH Grant Manager with questions, and to request any of the below extensions.  All Flexibilities must be approved by funding source.

Thank you for your patience as we work to maintain service delivery during this time.

The federal Office of Management and Budget is allowing flexibilities in administrative requirements for services necessary to for emergency response or loss of operations, as specified. See chart below.

Health Care Providers & Facilities

Reporting COVID-19

  • All providers and testing sites must report to Public Health all individuals tested for COVID-19, in accordance with the Illinois Control of Communicable Diseases Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 690.200(a)(5)).
  • Mandated reporters, such as health care providers, hospitals and laboratories, by law must report probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 electronically through Illinois’ National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS) within 24 hours. If they do not have access to I-NEDSS, they can report by mail, telephone or fax to the local health department (for a list see http://www.idph.state.il.us/LHDMap/HealthRegions.aspx) or, if no local health department is available, to the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Infectious Diseases at 217-785-7165, TTY (hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466.

EMS & First Responder Guidance

This guidance applies to all first responders, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and emergency management officials, who anticipate close contact with persons with confirmed or possible COVID-19 in the course of their work.

Background

Emergency medical services (EMS) play a vital role in responding to requests for assistance, triaging patients, and providing emergency medical treatment and transport for ill persons. However, unlike patient care in the controlled environment of a health care facility, care and transports by EMS present unique challenges because of the nature of the setting, enclosed space during transport, frequent need for rapid medical decision-making, interventions with limited information, and a varying range of patient acuity and jurisdictional health care resources.

Personal Protective Equipment Conservation

The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending all hospitals and emergency medical services’ (EMS) providers to immediately elevate conservation and contingency strategies relating to personal protective equipment (PPE). Use this guidance to conserve PPE wherever allows, while ensuring the safety of health care personnel. Receiving hospitals remain the responsible party for permitting EMS to restock equipment or supplies after transporting patients.

Personal Protective Equipment Donations

To maximize the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released guidance to hospitals and outpatient surgical and procedural centers on March 17, 2020 to limit non-essential adult elective surgery and medical and surgical procedures, including all dental procedures, until further notice. These considerations were requested to assist in limiting the consumption of vital health care resources during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

IDPH is encouraging outpatient surgical and procedural centers, ambulatory surgical treatment centers, and veterinarians to donate unused PPE not immediately needed to assist health care providers, health care facilities, and first responders who are on the front line and actively responding to COVID-19.

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