March 2 – 8, 2020




1. Regional Coalition Meeting

The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition conducted a Supply Chain Management Table Top Exercise Wednesday February 26, 2020. The Table Top Exercise discussed supply chain interruption and actions based on the Emergency Operations Plan for your facility. 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.

Additionally, on July 15 at 10:00 am we will conduct a Full Scale Exercise based on the shortages identified during the Table Top Exercise by each participant. The exercise will begin and end at your respective facility. Information will be forthcoming as we get closer to the July date. For more information, please contact Matt Cronin, regional Exercise and Training Coordinator.

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2. Save the Dates

Upcoming training and conferences: (with the exception of the 2020 Preparedness Academy, please contact Matt Cronin for details and to formally request attendance at the offerings)

  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:
    • 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 RoleOver 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…

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 Regional Exercise and Training Coordinator, Matt Cronin. Once approval has been received, you may register by calling (703) 466-0011 or download a registration form at

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.

Preparing Hospitals and Healthcare Personnel for Long-Term Respirator Usage Webinar March 12, 2020 at 2:00 pm Eastern

The Association of Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Professionals (AHEPP) will host a webinar to discuss research related to long-term respirator usage for outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as #coronavirus, including guidance for a surgical mask overlay as recommended by the Institute of Medicine.


  1. Identify the reasons why long-term respirator usage planning is needed for hospitals
  2. Recognize physical, psychological, and behavioral findings that may place healthcare personnel at risk when wearing respiratory protective equipment
  3. Describe interventions to prevent depleting respirator supplies during a disaster and how to protect healthcare personnel wearing respiratory protective equipment for prolonged periods


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





Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




1. Continuing updates about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.

2. Strategies to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF).

A new respiratory disease – coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – is spreading globally and there have been instances of COVID-19 community spread in the United States. The general strategies CDC recommends to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in LTCF are the same strategies these facilities use every day to detect and prevent the spread of other respiratory viruses like influenza.

UPDATE for Long-Term Care Facilities

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

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. HHS tracking drugs made in China; global coronavirus cases increase

The Department of Health and Human Services is aware of 20 pharmaceutical products made or with a critical active ingredient solely sourced in China, but to date is not aware of any expected shortages, HHS Secretary Alex Azar told House appropriators today. He said the agency knows of two pharmaceutical makers in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, but they have a large stockpile supply of advance production. For the first time since the outbreak started, more new cases are being reported outside China than from China, the World Health Organization said today. While China continues to have the most cases overall, there are now confirmed COVID-19 cases on every continent except Antarctica, totaling more than 81,000 in 37 countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to update resources, including interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19.

Source: American Hospital Association

2. Emergency Managers Asking for More Supplies for Coronavirus

The state’s emergency managers appealed Wednesday to Gov. Ned Lamont for help as they prepare for the the potential impact of the deadly coronavirus on Connecticut, saying the state might run out of protective supplies. In a letter to federal and state officials, Michael Spera, president of the Connecticut Emergency Management Association and the Old Saybrook police chief, said the organization is concerned that they will run out of masks, gloves and gowns.“CEMA is most concerned with the extreme shortage of available personal protective equipment and has called on the Governor to take immediate measure to ensure that healthcare and public safety providers have the personal protective equipment needed to respond to a potential outbreak of the virus in Connecticut,” Spera said, in a news release.


Source: Christine Dempsey of The Hartford Courant via Emergency Management online

3. COVID-19 webinar now available to train EMS and 911 personnel developed an hour-long training webinar designed as a Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) primer for EMS and 911 workers. The multi-agency panel covers the basics of COVID-19, the latest guidance for 911 and EMS, and recommendations for transporting and treating people possibly infected. Accompanying webinar slides are also available (PDF, 6.5 MB). Details about COVID-19 are changing rapidly and it’s easy to get information overload, but first responders need to be prepared to encounter possible cases. The immediate risk to the United States is still considered low; however, the potential public health threat globally and to this country is high. The webinar recommends initial assessment by 911 telecommunicators. 911 should determine the need for heightened EMS response by screening potential COVID-19 cases for risk factors. If 911 does not provide an initial assessment, EMS is encouraged to conduct the initial assessment at least 6 feet away from the patient. Use proper PPE consistently when evaluating patients. How COVID-19 is spread is still the topic of investigation. It is presumed to spread the same way other coronaviruses are spread: through person-to-person contact, through droplets from sneezing or coughing, and possibly by touching an object that has the virus on it. For more information on COVID-19 response and recent developments, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Source: CDC

4. US sees 1st coronavirus-related drug shortage

The U.S. has its first case of a coronavirus-related drug shortage, the FDA said Feb. 27. The FDA didn’t release the name of the drug in shortage or the manufacturer. The agency told Becker’s Hospital Review that the information is confidential commercial information and that while drug makers have to report drug supply interruptions to the FDA, they aren’t legally required to provide detailed information. The drug maker told the FDA the shortage was caused by an issue with manufacturing an active pharmaceutical ingredient used in the drug. Thirteen percent of APIs used in U.S. drugs are manufactured in China, where the Coronavirus [sic] outbreak started. The FDA said Feb. 26 that it is tracking 20 drugs that either solely source their APIs from China or make finished drug products in China for potential shortages. It said it is in contact with 180 drug makers to remind them they are required to report any anticipated shortages to the agency and asked them to evaluate their supply chains. The FDA said it is working with the drug maker on a solution and said there are alternative versions of the drug in shortage still available to U.S. consumers. The agency added that there are still no known medical device shortages, but device makers aren’t required to report when they anticipate shortages. The agency also said that there are four proposals in the president’s budget that would better equip it to prevent or mitigate medical product shortages, including lengthening drug expiration dates where possible, requiring risk management plans, improving supply chain data and establishing reporting requirements for medical device makers


Source: Maia Anderson of Becker’s Hospital Review

5. Nursing home the site of first US coronavirus outbreak: 1 dead, 4 hospitalized

A skilled nursing facility in the state of Washington became the first U.S. site of a coronavirus outbreak, officials announced Saturday. By Sunday, there were reports of one dead resident and four others hospitalized due to the virus, which has sent ripples through national economies globally. More than one-sixth of the nearly 300 residents and workers at the Kirkland, WA, facility had been reported as symptomatic Saturday, healthcare officials said during a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention teleconference call. Two people from the nursing facility, Life Care Centers of Kirkland, had been tested positive for COVID-19 as of Saturday. One was a health worker in her 40s, who was listed in satisfactory condition, while the other was described as a resident in her 70s who was in “serious” condition and already suffered from significant chronic health problems. Officials said that approximately 27 of 108 residents and 25 of the 180 staff members had displayed symptoms.


Source: James M. Berklan of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News