February 24 – March 1, 2020




1. Regional Coalition Meeting

The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will conduct a Supply Chain Management Table Top Exercise Wednesday February 26, 2020 beginning at 8:00 am until 12:00 pm instead of its monthly meeting. The Table Top Exercise will discuss supply chain interruption and actions based on the Emergency Operations Plan for your facility. Please register for the exercise because it will allow us to capture the number of attendees. For more information, click the link below. The exercise will be conducted at Augusta Community Care (on the Augusta Health Campus), 64 Sports Medicine Drive, Fishersville, VA, 22939. We will follow the exercise with an After Action Review (AAR) Thursday March 26, 2020.  For more information, please contact Matt Cronin, regional Exercise and Training Coordinator.

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2. Save the Dates

Upcoming training and conferences:

  1. The Coalition is able to send to people to The Joint Commission Emergency Preparedness Conference in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Please contact our Exercise and Training Coordinator Matt Cronin if you would like to attend the two-day event. If you would like to attend, we must have your name and contact information before March 21, 2020 to allow us enough time to receive approval from VHHA and VDH. We are allowed to send and reimburse two coalition members for expenses incurred resulting from attending the summit. These members include healthcare organizational staff with responsibility of emergency management or are involved in emergency preparedness planning, fire, EMS, and local emergency management.
  2. 2020 Community-Based Emergency Response Series (CBERS) at Blue Ridge Community College – Plecker Building, Weyers Cave April 15. For more information and to register, please click here for the flyer. Target Audience: Any disaster or emergency responder, Disaster Shelter Workers, EOC Staff, EMS/Fire/Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, Emergency Dispatch, Emergency Department Staff, Health Department and OCME Staff, anyone who responds to emergencies or disasters as part of their job.
  3. 2020 Virginia Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness Academy:
    • Dates:  Monday, March 23rd and Tuesday, March 24th
    • Location:  Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center in Harrisonburg, VA
    • Theme: Building Resiliency for Tomorrow’s Threats
    • Website: http://virginiapreparednessacademy.org/
    • According to the guidance from VHHA/VDH, anyone who plans to attend and their official work location is within 100 miles, we are unable to pay for lodging. We are pursuing a request to exception for anyone who works within a 50 mile radius of the conference location. If we receive the okay, we will update our website indicating the approval. So, currently we are unable to reimburse anyone for lodging if their work location is within a 100 mile radius of the conference location. Please continue to check the weekly updates, or you may contact the Regional Coordinator or the Exercise and Training Coordinator. 
  4. Coronavirus Preparedness Summit: The Coronavirus Preparedness Summit will occur in Washington, DC on June 17-18 and followed by hands-on workshops.
        Each day of the conference will offer papers on a wide range of topics including:
  • Preparing Community Strategies
  • Local Partnership and Participation
  • Delivery of Vaccine and Antiviral Medication
  • Emergency Response and Hospital/Healthcare Coordination
  • Prevention Education Efforts and Risk Communication
  • Command, Control and Management
  • Business Community’s Role

    Over 20 breakout sessions will be offered addressing a wide range of issues, including:

  • Breakout 1. Mass Fatality Management Planning
  • Breakout 2. Business Continuity Planning
  • Breakout 3. Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government Planning
  • Breakout 4. Emergency Management Services
  • Breakout 5. Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Breakout 6. First Responders: Fire Department
  • Breakout 7. First Responders: Public Works
  • Breakout 8. 911 Call Center Services
  • Breakout 9. Hospital and Emergency Medical Services
  • Breakout 10. Workplace-based Planning
  • Breakout 11. Community-Based Planning
  • Breakout 12. School/University Planning
  • Breakout 13. Airlines, Travel, Airport, Quarantine and Border Health Services
  • Breakout 14. Infectious Medical Waste

And many more…

3 different ways to participate

The 2-day event is open to all interested governmental agencies, organizations, and businesses from all countries. Before registering, please contact the Exercise and Training Coordinator. Once approval has been received, you may register by calling (703) 466-0011 or download a registration form at www.cov-s.com.

3. Memorandum of Understanding

We are pleased to announce that the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition continues to receive requests to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the coalition and non-hospital facilities. The MOU is designed for healthcare facilities that are not classified as an Acute Care or Critical Access hospital, and it is good for five (5) years before it will need to be renewed. If your organization resides within the Northwest Region and you have not signed the MOU, you can contact either the Regional Coordinator or the Medically Vulnerable Populations Coordinator to find out more details.

We are expanding our outreach to healthcare agencies within the region as a way of offering assistance to you and your organization. We ask for everyone’s help to spread the word by talking with your colleagues about the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition. You can contact us by clicking the Contact Us tab on our website.

Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association Credit:

Virginia Department of Health

1. Virginia Department of Health News Releases Related to the Novel Coronavirus (2019-NCOV) Outbreak

Continuing updates from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) can be found here.

The Virginia Healthcare Emergency Management Program under the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) has gathered guidance and FAQs and posted them on their website for easier viewing and rapid reference. The links on the website are from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and  Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS). Please continue to check their website for updates on this developing situation. The regional coalition will also post this information under the Current Events tab on our website.

2. Virginia Department of Health Weekly Influenza Activity Report

The Virginia Department of Health monitors the level of activity of influenza-like illness (ILI) each week from October through May. Those are the months when influenza (“flu”) is most likely to occur in Virginia, and that time period is referred to as the “flu season”.

Flu Activity Levels:
Flu surveillance is not designed to count every person who has the disease. That would be nearly impossible because not all people with the disease are diagnosed by a physician and even fewer have their illness confirmed by a laboratory test. Instead, VDH monitors changes in flu activity from week to week in each of the five health planning regions to look for increases compared to a baseline period. Activity is based on illness complaints that lead people to seek care in a hospital emergency department or urgent care center. Flu-like illness is defined as a fever along with a cough and/or a sore throat.

To view the weekly report, click here.


Health & Human Services

 Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response


Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Technical Resource,                                                                                                           Assistance Center, and Information Exchange

Hospital Preparedness Program




1. The Healthcare and Public Health Sector Highlights

The HPH Sector Highlights – Preparedness, Resilience, and Response Edition is a weekly email produced by the HHS ASPR Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) on behalf of the HPH Sector Partnership. It provides updates on healthcare and public health critical infrastructure resources, tools and events related to preparedness, resilience, and response.

Monthly Infectious Disease Update February 2020

Highlights include: 

  • The Epidemiological Characteristics of an Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) – China, 2020 (China CDC Weekly)
  • S. Health Officials to Start Testing for Coronavirus in five States (Reuters)
  • S. Flu Activity Still Rising, Nearing Earlier Peak, with 14 More Kids’ Deaths (CIDRAP)

Cybersecurity Edition Week of February 24, 2020

Highlights include: 

  • North Korean Malicious Cyber Activity
  • Ransomware Impacting Pipeline Operations
  • Research Paper on “SweynTooth” Vulnerabilities
  • HC3 Briefing on PyXie Remote Access Trojan
  • VMware Releases Security Updates for vRealize Operations for Horizon Adapter
  • Adobe Releases Security Updates for After Effects and Media Encoder
  • Cisco Releases Security Updates

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




1. Continuing updates about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.

2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supply Chain Planning in the United States Webinar

On February 14, 2020, CDC hosted a webinar regarding PPE Supply Chain Planning related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Below are the slides and the link to the recording. 

Watch » 

Power Point Slides » 

Credit: U.S. Food & Drug


Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


         U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Federal Emergency Management Agency


Virginia Department of Emergency Management


The National weather Service and The Virginia Department of Emergency Management have scheduled the 2020 Virginia’s Statewide Tornado Drill for Tuesday, March 17 at 9:45 a.m. If widespread severe weather threatens the Commonwealth on that date, the drill will be rescheduled for Wednesday, March 18, at 9:45 a.m. The annual Statewide Tornado Drill is an opportunity to prepare Virginians for tornado threats and to test public warning systems. The drill will start at approximately 9:45 a.m. with a test tornado warning sent in the form of a required monthly test by the National Weather Service to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios and local broadcasters.


2. Course Offerings

L0101 EMPP Foundations of Emergency Management course is scheduled for March 2-6, 2020.

VEOC 100 WebEOC for Local Government course is scheduled for March 16, 2020.

G191 EOC/ICS Interface course is scheduled for March 27, 2020. 

ICS 400 Advanced Incident Command System course is scheduled for March 28-29, 2020. 

VEOC 100 WebEOC for Local Government course is scheduled for April 7, 2020.

G202 Debris Management course is scheduled for April 21-23, 2020. 

FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Workshop course is scheduled for May 20, 2020. 

ICS 300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents course is scheduled for June 2-4, 2020. 

1. Expect drug shortages by March if coronavirus continues to ravage China, expert warns

The U.S. will see drug shortages by mid-March if conditions in China don’t vastly improve by then, Rosemary Gibson, a senior adviser at the Hastings Center, told NBC affiliate WCNCMs. Gibson, author of the book China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, told WCNC that because China has already stopped companies that make surgical masks and protective medical gear from exporting those items to other countries, it is likely the country would do the same for drugs if the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t taper. China produces most of the active pharmaceutical ingredients the U.S. uses to make generic drugs. Generic drugs account for 90 percent of the drugs the U.S. uses, Ms. Gibson said. “China makes about 90 percent of the production for the medicines for people who might end up in the hospital for coronavirus,” she told WCNC. She added that the U.S. doesn’t have the capacity to quickly produce the drugs a hospital would need if a severe coronavirus outbreak happened in the U.S. 


Source: Maia Anderson of Becker’s Hospital Review

2. On your marks, get set, sweat!

But hopefully not a Billy Idol kind of sweat…

Our friends in Chicago are once again tweaking the survey process, with the result being less time for surveyors to wait for organizations to muster their troops at the outset and pretty much no time at all before they are out and about doing tracers. Basically, what used to be the surveyor planning session in the morning of the first survey day is now being flipped and combined with the special issue resolution session at the end of the day. For organizations to adapt their process to the changes, folks should be prepared to do the following:

  • Prompt alert of/to the leadership team of any on-site survey to facilitate their availability for a prompt opening conference (I can’t think of too many folks who are not already doing this)
  • Prepare all required documentation and deliver those documents to the survey team immediately after the team is escorted to their “base” (the list of required documents is available in the Survey Activity Guide, although it begs the question as to whether this includes the life safety documentation…)
  • Gather the scribes together so they are ready to hit the pavement as soon as the (ever-so-brief) opening conference is completed

Somehow I think this may all tie across with the folks from CMS accompanying the Joint Commission folks as part of the validation process—anyone who has dealt with a state and/or CMS survey will tell you, there’s not a lot of time (or indeed, inclination) for pleasantries. The job of being prickly requires a lot of inflexibility, which does seem to be the hallmark of the current survey process. These changes to the survey process are effective March 2020.

Source: Steve MacArthur of HCPro