September 6 – 12, 2021

Regional Coalition Meeting
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will NOT be meeting in September. Instead, invited coalition members and state partners will review and discuss the new Medical Surge & Response Exercise (MSRE) on Thursday September 9, instead of the monthly meeting. The discussions and critiques will be shared with the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

Credit: Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Credit: Virginia Department of Health

1. 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.

2. PPE Exchange

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association recently entered into a new partnership with PPE.Exchange, a Seattle-based firm that operates a global, online portal to connect health care providers and other organizations with vetted suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE). This new arrangement is being facilitated through the VHHA Shared Services Corporation to assist health care providers, businesses, and other Virginia organizations with obtaining PPE needed to protect staff, patients, students, customers, and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Want to know how you can purchase PPE for your healthcare facility,
read here »


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




  Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

FDA 2021-2021 Influenza Vaccination Recommendations and Guidance on Coadministration with COVID-19 Vaccines
On Thursday September 9, 2021 at 2pm, CDC will host a COCA Call with presenters from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to discuss recommendations for the upcoming influenza season.
Read More »

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 35

  • NIOSH NPPTL observes Respiratory Protection Week, Sept. 7-10
  • Increased scrutiny of firefighting foams containing “forever chemicals” with changing legislation of PFAS
  • Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill set for October 21
  • and more

Read More »

2. U.S. Fire Administration Digest: September 2, 2021

  • Focus on firer safety
  • Using technology to solve urban response challenges
  • and more

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. Nursing home residents die after being evacuated to warehouse in Louisiana ahead of Hurricane Ida

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana officials launched an investigation into the deaths of four nursing home residents who had been evacuated to a warehouse ahead of Hurricane Ida, as state residents struggling in the wake of the storm sought financial relief and other help amid small signs of recovery.
The nursing home residents who died were among hundreds of people from seven nursing homes taken to the warehouse in Independence, where conditions became unhealthy and unsafe after the hurricane struck on Sunday, state health officials said. A coroner classified three of the deaths as storm-related.
When developing your Emergency Operations Plan, specifically the evacuation annex, please don’t just check the box. Rather put some real thought into how and where you will evacuate the patients or residents. This is a hard lesson from those who experienced Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. Evacuating is not just leaving the area, but relocating to a similar facility that can properly care for the patients or residents and to prevent harm. Temporary stop-over points may help with an fast-out evacuation until a suitable location can be found, but they should not be considered a long-term care location such as a slow-out or planned evacuation from a hurricane or an event that may prove to be long-lasting. 

Want to know more, read here »
Source: Rebecca Santana, Melinda Deslatte, and Janet McConnaughey of The Associated Press

2. 4 updates on the US medical oxygen supply

As COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S., hospitals in hard-hit areas are seeing their supplies of medical-grade oxygen strained. 
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Maia Anderson of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

3. Ivermectin prescriptions soar despite federal warnings

Prescriptions for the anti-parasite drug ivermectin  have soared to more than 88,000 per week as of mid-August, up from the pre-pandemic average of 3,600 per week, according to CDC data
Ivermectin is most often used to treat parasitic worms in animals. It isn’t an antiviral, but some physicians have been prescribing it to treat COVID-19.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Maia Anderson of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

4. Going back to staff job ‘just not an option’: High travel nurse pay-up to $8K a week-worsens staff shortages

Pay rate for travel nurses has risen rapidly during the pandemic, driven by demand and paid for in part with federal emergency funding, exacerbating an already existing nursing shortage, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Before the pandemic, Ivette Palomeque, RN, worked as a staff intensive care nurse at Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System and made $45 an hour. Now, Ms. Palomeque earns $120 an hour working as a travel nurse in a McAllen,Texas-based ICU, the latest travel position she’s held.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Gabrielle Masson of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

5. Two top FDA vaccine leaders to retire

Two of the FDA’s top vaccine leaders are stepping down from their positions, Endpoints News reported Aug. 31, citing an internal letter sent to FDA staff. 
Marion Gruber, PhD, director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research & Review, will retire Oct. 31. She’s been with the FDA for 32 years. Phil Krause, MD, the vaccine office’s deputy director, will leave in November, according to the letter from Peter Marks, MD, PhD, who leads the agency’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
A former senior FDA leader told Endpoints News the two leaders are stepping down from their roles because they’re frustrated that the CDC and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are involved in decisions they believe should be the FDA’s. The White House’s announcement that booster shots would be available Sept. 20, which was made without the FDA’s approval, was reportedly what prompted the two leaders to step down.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Maia Anderson of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

6. Nursing group urges HHS to declare staffing shortage a national crisis

The American Nurses Association urged the U.S. to declare the nursing shortage a national crisis in a Sept. 1 letter to HHS
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Erica Carbajal of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

7. WHO adds new strain ‘mu’ to its variants of concern list

The World Health Organization classified a new COVID-19 strain as a variant of concern Aug. 30. The strain, named mu, was first detected in Colombia in January, according to the WHO’s  weekly COVID-19 epidemiological update.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Erica Carbajal of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

8. Augusta Health joins Mayo Clinic Care Network

Fishersville, Va.-based Augusta Health has joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a worldwide group of independent care systems that can tap into the knowledge and medical expertise of Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic.
By joining the network, Augusta Health physicians will gain access to Mayo’s expertise, research, and diagnostic and treatment resources. There is no additional cost to patients.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Alia Paavola of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

9. Courts decide whether hospitals can deny ivermectin

Hospitals are finding themselves in court over their decision to deny giving COVID-19 patients ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug the FDA has warned against using to treat COVID-19.
Want to know more, read here »
Source: Morgan Haefner of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

10. Healthcare workers, once cheered as heroes, now threatened and harassed

Only 16 months ago, it was difficult to go a day without hearing the term “healthcare heroes” about the front-line healthcare professionals who faced the risks of COVID-19 to care for others. Now, many of these same professionals and their public health colleagues encounter harassment and threats in the fight against the virus. 
The hostility has reached a point where government officials are pleading with the public for a return to civility.
Want to know more,
read here »
Source: Molly Gamble of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW