March 9 – 15, 2020




1. Regional Coalition Meeting

The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will hold its monthly meeting Thursday March 12 beginning at 10:30 am. The agenda, the November meeting minutes, and the conference dial-in information will be sent to the routine attendees on the Tuesday prior to the meeting. The meeting will be held via our Ring Central conference call line.

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2. Save the Dates

Upcoming training and conferences: (please contact Matt Cronin for details and to formally request attendance at the offerings)

2020 Virginia Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness Academy is postponed due to the rapidly evolving response to COVID-19. Once a new date has been established, we will inform the coalition members and partners. If you reserved a room to attend the Academy, please cancel that reservation so you won’t be charged. We are not allowed to reimburse anyone who did not cancel their reservation. 

  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. Coronavirus Preparedness Summit: The Coronavirus Preparedness Summit will occur in Washington, DC on June 17-18 and followed by hands-on workshops. 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
  4. 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. An After Action Review (AAR) from the Table Top Exercise is scheduled for 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.

COVID-19 Highlights

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

CMS Announces Actions to Address Spread of Coronavirus

On March 4, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced several actions aimed at limiting the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Specifically, CMS is issuing a call to action to health care providers across the country to ensure they are implementing their infection control procedures, which they are required to maintain at all times. Additionally, CMS is announcing that, effective immediately and, until further notice, State Survey Agencies and Accrediting Organizations will focus their facility inspections exclusively on issues related to infection control and other serious health and safety threats, like allegations of abuse – beginning with nursing homes and hospitals. Critically, this shift in approach, first announced yesterday by Vice President Pence, will allow inspectors to focus their energies on addressing the spread of COVID-19.

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Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States

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 healthcare 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 healthcare resources.

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Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020

The Senate on Thursday easily passed more than $8 billion in funding to fight the Coronavirus [sic], sending the measure to President Trump, who is expected to sign it. Senators voted 96-1 on the bill, which was finalized and cleared the House the day before. The bill provides $7.76 billion to agencies combating the Coronavirus [sic]. It also authorizes another $500 million in waivers for Medicare telehealth restrictions, bringing the total figure greenlighted under the bill up to $8.3 billion. Included within that is $2.2 billion to help federal, state and local public health agencies prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus [sic], including funds for lab testing, infection control and tracing individuals who might have had contact with infected people.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

Johns Hopkins has created a GIS world map of cases related to COVID-19. The map indicates total confirmed cases as well as other information related to the disease.

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.

Virginia Department of Health Confirms Third “Presumptive Positive” Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in State

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that an Arlington County resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  VDH and the Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) are working together to identify any close contacts of this resident who would require testing or monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.  This is the third presumptive positive result, with the other two being a Marine Base Quantico resident and Fairfax City resident.  All three cases were exposed through international travel.


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




1. The Express – March 2020

In this issue of the Express, we highlight the 10th issue of the ASPR TRACIE Exchange, where we discuss lessons learned from recent wildfires, evacuating and receiving patients, and preparing for planned power outages. We also share an overview and link to the webinar Developing an HCC Pediatric Surge Annex and new Healthcare Coalition Burn Surge Annex Template.

2. 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.

Cybersecurity Edition Week of February 24, 2020

  • HHS Response Coordination Call on SweynTooth Vulnerabilities
  • HC3 Briefing Wearable Device Security
  • NCSC Releases Advisory on Securing Internet-Connected Cameras
  • National Health IT Priorities for Research: A Policy and Development Agenda
  • Collaborate with the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence on a New Project to Help Manufacturers Protect their Industrial Control Systems
  • European Agency For Cybersecurity: Procurement Guidelines for Cybersecurity in Hospitals
  • Point-to-Point Protocol Daemon Vulnerability
  • OpenSMTPD Releases Version 6.6.4p1 to Address a Critical Vulnerability
  • Cisco Releases Security Updates
  • Additional Cisco Security Updates

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




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

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. 

PER-340 Active Threat Integrated Response Course is scheduled for June 1-3, 2020

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