August 30 – September 5, 2021

Regional Coalition Meeting
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will conduct a Medical Surge & Response Exercise (Pilot Test) Thursday September 9 beginning at 10:30 am, instead of the monthly meeting. The exercise information and details will be provided soon.

Credit: Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Credit: Virginia Department of Health

COVID-19 Pandemic

Information related to the pandemic can be found on VDH’s and VHHA’s respective websites.

VDH has developed a COVID-19 Level of Community Transmission dashboard. This dashboard indicates the severity of the case counts in the local jurisdictions. Click here to view the dashboard.


Credit: Health & Human Services

Credit: Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response


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

         Credit: Hospital Preparedness Program



The Express

This issue of The Express highlights the following new resources:

  • Healthcare Coalition Radiation Emergency Surge Annex Template
  • Pediatric Surge Resources for COVID-19
  • Sample Physician’s Orders for Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Treatment
  • Hurricane Resources
  • COVID-19 Resources
  • and more

Read More »

  Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Credit: U.S. Food & Drug Administration

FDA COVID-19 Vaccine News and Updates
To read about news and updates from the FDA on the COVID-19 vaccines, click here.

Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


         Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Credit: Federal Emergency Management Agency

Credit: U.S. Fire Administration


1. The InfoGram Volume 21 Issue 34

  • Federal lab, NUSTL, expands outreach to first responders as a scientific and technical resource
  • US Secret Service NTAC shares violence prevention research for schools
  • FEMA releases two new EOC Toolkit documents
  • FEMA offering exercise assistance through the National Exercise Program
  • and more

Read More »

2. U.S. Fire Administration Digest: August 26, 2021

  • New report on civilian home fire injuries
  • Building resiliency into public safety communications
  • and more

Read More »

3. FEMA Funding for COVID-19 Testing

Funding under FEMA’s Public Assistance program includes COVID-19 testing. This funding is eligible under current FEMA policies and is available to local, state, tribal, and territorial governments and eligible nonprofits carrying out COVID-19 testing activities.
What will FEMA Fund?
Read More »

Credit: Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Course Offerings

1. ICS 300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents (Multiple Dates)
This 21-hour course is designed for front-line personnel with supervisory responsibilities to serve in a command or general staff position. The curriculum includes instruction in general principles associated with incident command, along with various tabletop exercises that allow students to put this knowledge to practical use.
Read More »

2. ICS 400 Advanced ICS (Multiple Dates)
This training is a 15-hour course that provides training on the advanced resource management provisions of the Incident Command System (ICS). Course topics include explaining the special management challenges of major incidents such as unified command, multi-agency coordination systems, and emergency operations centers, as well as explaining how Multi-Agency Coordination Systems (MACS) are established and interface with emergency operations centers.
Read More »

3. G191 Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center Interface (Multiple Dates)
This 8 hour course works best when delivered to Incident Command System and Emergency Operations Center personnel from the same community. The course provides an opportunity for participants to begin developing an ICS/EOC interface for their community. The course reviews ICS and EOC responsibilities and functions and depends heavily on exercises and group discussions to formulate the interface.
Read More »

4. G205 Recovery from Disaster
Fairfax County is hosting the G0205: Recovery from Disaster Course has been scheduled and is available in the COVLC. This course provides an introduction to disaster recovery principles and includes current recovery practices and policies as outlined in the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF). Case studies and activities are included in the course to support participant learning. Access to and use of a variety of resources for recovery planning are taught in the course, including a FEMA online Community Recovery Management Toolkit (CRMT) and a Resource Library associated with the Recovery Pre-Disaster Planning Guide for Local Governments (RPPG-L) that contains links to model plans, templates, tools, lessons learned, best practices, and a range of supplemental reference materials and related pre-disaster planning and disaster recovery resources. Prerequisites: ICS 100 is a suggested prerequisite. IS-2900: National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) Overview is strongly recommended, but not required.

Dates: October 6-7, 2021
Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Location: VDEM-Room 2115, VDEM-McConnell PSTOCB (MPSTOC)

5. K0419 Shelter Field Guide Training for State and Local Communities – Virtual (Multiple Dates)
An introduction to economic recovery planning using a method in which the entire community is empowered to work collaboratively in preparation, mitigation, response, and in recovery from a disaster.
Read More »

6. V450: ICS Train-the-Trainer (ICS100-400)
This train-the-trainer course is specifically for persons interested in teaching VDEM ICS sponsored courses for their agency or organization. Participants will learn valuable tips on how to teach each of the ICS courses from experienced instructors. Participants will review the content of each ICS course and develop teaching and facilitation strategies to support the delivery of ICS courses within their agency or organization. Upon successful completion of this course, individuals will be authorized to teach the Introduction, Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Incident Command System courses (ICS 100 – 400), as well as the ICS for Senior Executives/Elected Officials course (ICS-402). Participants completing V450 must be available as an ICS Sponsored Instructor for at least 12 months after completing this class.

Dates: September 2-3,2021 or November 9-10, 2021
Time: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Location: VDEM Headquarters – Moorefield, 9711 Farrar Ct, North Chesterfield, VA 23236
Read More »

7. FEMA PER 386: Whole Community Inclusive Economic Recovery

FEMA PER 386, is an introduction to economic recovery planning using a whole community approach, in which the entire community works together in planning for economic recovery. 
This free virtual 4.5 hour course is designed to increase awareness of how inclusive collaborations with diverse populations can enhance community resilience and safety; and will introduce overarching tools, strategies, and opportunities to engage in the economic recovery (pre)-planning process through practical application.
Target Audience: Individuals or groups who may have a role in pre/post-disaster economic recovery planning, ie.. economic development districts, business and civic leaders, partner stakeholders, industry associations, large and small private sector representatives, local or regional jurisdictional representatives and community organizations. 
Length of Course: 4.5 participant hours with an additional 30 minutes after for Post-test and Evaluation.
Accommodations: Requested accommodations can be provided to ensure full participation in the course. Requests can be made during the registration process.
Date: September 28 morning session for Region 2 (9am EST start).
Class ID for Registration: 15444402 
Registration Link:

1. Ida vexes Louisiana hospitals brimming with virus patients

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Southern Louisiana’s [sic] hospitals, already packed with coronavirus patients from a fourth surge of the virus, were dealing Sunday with another challenge — the howling Category 4 hurricane pounding the coast. 
“Once again we find ourselves dealing with a natural disaster in the midst of a pandemic,” said Jennifer Avegno, the top health official for New Orleans.
Lady of the Sea General Hospital in Lafourche Parish, near where Ida made landfall, reported extensive roof damage. “All patients and staff are fine at this time without injury; although, our hospital has sustained significant damage,” hospital CEO Karen Collins said in a message relayed via Facebook. The hospital’s phone system was down.

Want to know more, read here »
Source: Rebecca Santana and Melinda Deslatte of AP NEWS

2. Here’s which nursing homes and assisted living center Louisiana evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ida

Ahead of Hurricane Ida making landfall, Louisiana evacuated 22 nursing homes, 18 assisted living facilities and 61 intermediate care facilities. 
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Blake Paterson of THE ADVOCATE

3. When Ida meets delta: 5 ways the COVID-19 surge complicates Louisiana’s hurricane response

Hurricane Ida is already expected to be a life-altering, Category 4 storm with winds over 100 miles per hour not only along the Louisiana coast but also more inland parts of the state like Baton Rouge and Lafayette. 
But this hurricane also poses a bigger threat because it is expected to strike at a time when Louisiana is experiencing its worst COVID-19 surge of the pandemic.
When Hurricane Laura slammed into southwest Louisiana last year, the state’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate was less than half of what it is now. The daily COVID-19 case count was just a quarter of what it is today. The COVID-19 health crisis is now more serious and more dangerous.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Julie O’Donoghue of LOUISIANA ILLUMINATOR

4. Orlando officials urge residents to limit water usage to preserve oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients

Orlando, Fla., officials are asking residents to limit nonessential water usage for two weeks to preserve liquid oxygen, which is used to treat severely ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
The region is experiencing a shortage of liquid oxygen amid a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the Orlando Utilities Commission said in an Aug. 20 notice. Liquid oxygen is a resource used in water treatment and in hospitals for respiratory therapy.
To ensure hospitals have an adequate supply amid a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, residents are being asked to temporarily pause nonessential water usage, including watering lawns and washing vehicles.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Erica Carbajal of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

5. Children’s hospitals brace for more COVID-19 patients amid school reopenings

COVID-19 hospitalizations among children are at the highest level since HHS started tracking them last year, and some children’s hospitals are preparing for surges to worsen as schools reopen, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 22.
Many children’s hospitals in the South and Midwest have reported an uptick in pediatric cases over the past six weeks as the delta variant rapidly spread among unvaccinated people. Facilities in these regions are preparing for a potential spike in cases linked to school reopening [sic] by hiring more nurses, updating discharge protocols and improving room cleaning efficiency, among other efforts. 
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Mackenzie Bean of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

6. CDC booster shot review delayed amid debate over necessity

The CDC has pushed back its advisory panel meeting to discuss COVID-19 booster shots for the general population by one week, as medical professionals are split over whether the shots are necessary, Bloomberg reported Aug. 19. 
The CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices originally was set to meet Aug. 24 to discuss the need for booster shots and possibly make a formal recommendation but will now convene over two days starting Aug. 30. 
The Biden administration said Aug. 18 it will allow fully vaccinated people to get a third dose of either Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID-19 shot eight months after their second dose beginning Sept. 20. But authorization from both the FDA and CDC is needed before the U.S. can distribute the doses.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Maia Anderson of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

7. Houston nursing students stepping up to help hospitals amid COVID-19 surge

Houston hospitals under strain amid a COVID-19 surge are getting some help from nursing students, according to CBS-affiliated TV station KHOU
The Woodlands, Texas-based Lone Star College said its first- and second-year nursing students are being recruited to assist Harris Health System’s Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson hospitals, as well as United Memorial Medical Center.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Lone Star College has been actively involved in helping our community,” LSC Chancellor Stephen Head, PhDsaid in an Aug. 18 news release. “From loaning ventilators, providing COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, and conducting face mask and food drives, we will do whatever we can to help those in need.”
Want to know more, read here »

8. Labs unable to specify which COVID-19 variant patients have

Despite recent COVID-19 surges largely due to the spread of the delta variant and vaccine hesitancy, most physicians and their patients are legally prevented from knowing which variant infected them because of regulatory hurdles, Insider reported.
That’s because CMS requires genome-sequencing tests to be federally approved, a process that lab scientists say is too costly and time consuming to be done for every patient.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Marcus Robertson of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

9. White House, physicians urge employers to impose vaccine mandates following full FDA approval

President Joe Biden called on employers to require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 during an Aug. 23 news conference held a few hours after the FDA announced it had granted full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Want to know more, read here »