We are asking all affiliates to complete our COVID-19 tracking survey for reporting the number of IAFF members/fire-EMS personnel in your local/fire department who have tested positive for coronavirus or have been quarantined or in isolation.


April 8 – The following hotels are offering special rates and discounts to healthcare workers, including fire fighters and emergency medical personnel, who are on the frontlines in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and may need a place to stay close to their work location or to self-quarantine away from their homes and families to protect their loved ones.

The Warriors Research Institute (WRI) – run by IAFF Behavioral Health partner Dr. Suzy Gulliver – is offering telemental health services at no cost to all IAFF members in the United States. Learn more here.

April 7 – Public Assistance grants are available to support organizations with extraordinary costs associated with this event, including:

  • Overtime or personnel backfill cost
  • Expendable supplies, such as disinfectants, medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) (masks, gloves and gowns)
  • Apparatus usage

April 6 – This episode of The Kitchen Table addresses many of the legal considerations and responsibilities affiliates need to know to conduct your union business during this COVID-19 crisis.

April 3 – COVID-19 Guidance on Surgical/Cloth Masks

New video: COVID-19: The IAFF Has Your Back

April 2 IAFF announces guidance on Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 1 – The Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has relaxed some requirements, allowing fire departments to:

  • Transport patients to alternative destinations, such as urgent care, community mental health facilities, physician’s offices and patient’s homes
  • Submit for reimbursement to CMS for the transport the same way as if transported to the hospital
  • Provide telehealth services through a contracted physician to assist with treat and release with no transport
  • Fire departments cannot bill for telehealth services directly but can arrange with the providing doctor. This is also a good way to lessen the burden on 9-1-1 call volume

March 31 – The IAFF has developed checklists for decontaminating apparatus after a potential exposure and cleaning stations during this pandemic.

March 30 – Watch this video message from General President Harold Schaitberger on how the IAFF is working to secure the tools and resources you need to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

More

March 28 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/Health and Human Services Healthcare Resilience Task Force has established that fire/EMS agencies are at the same level of priority for PPE as hospitals, healthcare facilities and workers. See guidance for submitting resupply requests.

March 27 – Congress completed its work on an economic stimulus package intended to address the response to and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes significant resources for fire and EMS as follows:

  • $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to reimburse fire and EMS departments for expenses related to the response to the virus.
  • $100 million in funding through the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grant program, earmarked specifically for PPE and related supplies.
  • $100 billion to reimburse healthcare providers, including EMS, for healthcare expenses or lost revenue, including costs related to medical supplies and equipment, such as PPE, increased workforce expenses and surge capacity.
  • $41 million for the National Forest System and Wildland Fire Management for PPE and baseline health testing.

The CDC/NIOSH has updated the Ryan White Act to include COVID-19. Hospitals are now mandated to notify emergency response employees of any exposure to a positive COVID-19 patient.

March 25 – 10 Things Your Local Should Be Doing for COVID-19 Response helps identify the most important issues facing members and provide the information and resources needed to ensure best practices are in place.

March 24 – The IAFF has developed a new, more dynamic data tool to help you document exposures among members in your local/fire department and in departments across both countries. Once reported, this data will be available in real time so that we have a clearer picture of the impact of COVID-19 on our members and affiliates across the United States and Canada.

March 23 Pearson Vue© has agreed to begin limited reopening of state-owned testing centers within colleges and universities as a means of allowing more than 12,000 students to take emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic certification exams. This positive news follows a letter from General President Harold Schaitberger to the National Governors Association (NGA) to get more EMTs and paramedics certified as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 21 – Watch our new video on self screening and post the Self-Screening Guidelines poster in every fire station.

Review the IAFF Return to Work guidelines.

Use the National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS) Exposure mobile app to help in collecting national exposure data for all fire fighters and paramedics. Watch the demo video on how to enter data.

March 20 – The IAFF’s Jim Brinkley talks with MSNBC about the dire need for additional PPE for fire fighters and paramedics on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 19 – Watch our new video on proper PPE donning and doffing techniques.

Listen to our IAFF COVID-19 Podcast

March 18 – The IAFF addresses shortage of PPE on Fox News.

See our self-screening guidelines for posting in every fire station.

March 17 – See our new COVID-19 Post-Exposure/Quarantine Symptom Monitoring Tracker. This form can be used to track signs and symptoms following an exposure and while in quarantine.

March 13 – The president announced an emergency declaration to address the coronavirus pandemic. The declaration will free up nearly $50 billion in disaster money to fight the spread of the virus and expand capacity at hospitals and reduce other health regulations that could slow action.

March 12 – The IAFF has sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar objecting to the conclusions and recommendations of the CDC’s updated Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States.

March 11 – One of the new coronavirus cases is a fire fighter in Kirkland who may have helped with transporting ill patients from Life Care to area hospitals. Thirty-one Kirkland fire fighters and three police officers are in quarantine, while six have been released after completing their quarantine period without developing symptoms. Most are in isolation or quarantine at home.

March 10 – More than 50 members in Washington state are under quarantine for possible exposure to COVID-19.

March 6 We will be livestreaming a COVID-19 Briefing on Tuesday, March 10 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. (EDT) on our efforts to ensure we address the needs of our members on the frontlines responding to patients who may be infected or who are quarantined or isolated due to possible exposure.

March 4 – Nine quarantined members in Washington state, along with seven family members with flu-like symptoms, are being tested for the coronavirus.

February 28 – More than 25 members were exposed and subsequently quarantined in Washington state in relation to calls they ran to the nursing home where it has been confirmed that the first death from the coronavirus occurred. Learn More

February 26 – The global death toll neared 2,800 with a total of about 80,000 confirmed infection cases reported globally.

February 18 – There were approximately 400 U.S. citizens onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The U.S. government disembarked the majority of the U.S. citizens from the ship and brought them back to the United States on February 18. Of those brought back, 14 passengers tested positive for COVID-19 and are being treated at a medical facility in Omaha, Nebraska. The other passengers will be subject to a 14-day, federal quarantine and be housed at two existing federal quarantine sites for repatriated travelers: Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.

February 13 – The death toll in mainland China hit 1,300, with nearly 60,000 infections recorded. Meanwhile, Japan confirmed its first death from the virus.

January 31 – The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) declared a public health emergency in the United States on January 31, 2020. The emergency declaration gives state, tribal and local health departments the ability to request that DHHS provide funding, supplies and resources to respond to COVID-19.

January 30 – WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020, after they identified that the novel coronavirus is expected to continue spreading internationally and may appear in any country.

January 27 – The CDC has raised the travel advisory to a Level 3 warning: Avoid all nonessential travel to China. Chinese authorities are imposing quarantines and restricting travel throughout the country. There is also a Level 4 warning to not travel to the Hubei province, China, due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China.

January 17 As a second death was reported in Wuhan, health authorities in the U.S. announced that three airports would start screening passengers arriving from the city. Authorities in the United States, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan confirmed cases over the following days.

January 7 – Officials announced they had identified a new virus, according to the WHO. The novel virus was named 2019-nCoV and was identified as belonging to the coronavirus family, which includes SARS and the common cold.

December 31, 2019 China alerted WHO to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the central Hubei province. The virus was unknown.

Signs and Symptoms

The reported illnesses for COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.

The onset of symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and generally are categorized as flu like symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Who are most at risk of severe symptoms of COVID-19?

Older adults, immunocompromised individuals and those who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

While the more severe symptoms are commonly affecting the older and immunocompromised individuals, it is good practice to avoid close contact with those individuals if you’ve been exposed to a positive COVID-19 patient. If you are showing symptoms, avoid these individuals and contact your medical provider.


COVID-19 Transmission

  • Person to Person: The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person by those who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through – most commonly – respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Contaminated surfaces or objects: It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. There are many variables to the survivability of the virus outside the body and it is unknown exactly how long it can survive on a surface. Disinfecting the apparatus, stretcher or equipment after exposure to a potential or confirmed positive patient is recommended. Members are required to wear the appropriate PPE and use the recommended bleach solution, antiseptic wipes or 65 percent or higher alcohol-based cleanser to eliminate any possible virus survivability. It is also important to practice good hand hygiene if you believe you’ve come in contact with a contaminated surface.
  • Community Spread: When individuals in a community test positive for the virus but are unsure of how or where they became infected.

Can you spread COVID-19 without showing signs and symptoms?

People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic.

Although this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, there have been some reported cases of COVID-19 spreading before people show symptoms.


Quarantine Versus Isolation

Quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people who have been exposed to a virus but do not have symptoms or a confirmed medical diagnosis.

Isolation is used to separate infected persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy to help stop the spread of certain diseases.

Unprotected members (not wearing appropriate PPE) exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 patient shall be quarantined for 14 days. If you show symptoms during that time, then testing shall be conducted. If positive, then moved to isolation. If negative, then continue quarantine until 14 days are complete.

For more information on how to prepare your department for Quarantine and Isolation, please visit our Policies and Procedures page.


COVID-19 Testing

Call your healthcare professional if:

  • You feel sick with fever, cough or have difficulty breathing.
  • Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.

Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

Testing will only be conducted if the individual is showing symptoms. Personnel should expect COVID-19 test results 24-48 hours post testing.


Background

The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and was first identified by Chinese authorities in mid-December 2019. Since then, the outbreak has resulted in thousands of confirmed human infections and hundreds of reported deaths.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause illness in people. The virus typically originates in animals, including camels, cats and bats and sometimes progresses to human-to-human transmission.

If you are showing signs and symptoms, comply with applicable requirements as instructed by your monitoring team (e.g., local health department, safety officer) when the quarantine was initiated. Additionally, testing for COVID-19 will be required and conducted by health department personnel.

Printable PDF: Interim Guidance for EMS


Recommendations for 911 PSAPs

  • Municipalities and local EMS authorities should coordinate with state and local public health, PSAPs and other emergency call centers to determine the need for modified caller queries about COVID-19.
  • Development of modifiedcaller queries should be closely coordinated with an EMS medical director and informed by local, state and federal public health authorities, including the city or county health department(s), state health department(s) and the CDC.
  • PSAPs or Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) centers (as appropriate) should question callers and determine the possibility that this call concerns a person who may have signs or symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19.
  • More information: Guidance for Emergency Medical Services Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States

Preparation

  • COVID-19 Self-Screening Guidelines
  • Self-Screening Video
  • Review your department’s exposure control plan.
  • Plan to meet or connect with local and state health departments to discuss policies, procedures and precautions in case COVID-19 becomes widespread.
  • Maintain an adequate supply of N95 and surgical masks and monitor the availability of both masks with your medical supply vendor.
  • Routinely check the IAFF website for more information about COVID-19.

Potential Exposure


Protection

  • Recommended Guidelines for Selection, Care and Cleaning/Sanitization of Structural Fire Fighting Protective Clothing
  • The CDC recommends N-95 or P-100 with eye protection
    • N-95 and higher levels of respiratory protection require fit testing
    • Eye protection should be face shield or goggles
    • Surgical masks with plastic eye lenses are inappropriate PPE
  • If possible and tolerated, place a surgical mask on patients to minimize exposure
  • Use a clean, non-sterile, long-sleeved, fluid-resistant gown
  • Gloves
  • Use either single-use, disposable equipment or dedicated equipment to decontaminate. If equipment needs to be shared among patients, clean and disinfect between each patient using ethyl alcohol (70%) or bleach solution (ratio of ¼ cup of bleach in a gallon of water)
  • Hand washing
  • Minimize patient contact in poorly ventilated areas
  • Disinfect the ambulance with bleach solution
    • Routinely clean and disinfect patient-contact areas
  • For more information about PPE, visit these CDC webpages:

Decontaminating Gear and Equipment


State and Federal Resources

Congress has passed and the president has signed an $8.3 billion supplemental appropriation to fund the response to coronavirus. There are a variety of resources that will be available to fire departments for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies, and to meet overtime and backfill needs. Included in this package are:

  • $950 million to support states and localities in carrying out a variety of activities related to the response to the virus.
  • Approximately $500 million for medical supplies, including PPE.
  • $300 million in contingency funding for the procurement of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

The most important action that state affiliates can take to ensure that these resources are secured to assist our members and their departments is to contact their respective governors to ensure fire and EMS agencies are given priority as resources are distributed.

PPE and medical supplies can also be obtained through the Strategic National Stockpile and state stockpiles. Most states have an infectious disease plan or pandemic plan that outlines distribution of supplies in a public health emergency.

Affiliate leaders should immediately contact your governor and state homeland security director to ensure these plans specify that fire fighters and emergency medical personnel receive priority as supplies are distributed.

Public Assistance grants are available to support organizations with extraordinary costs associated with this event, including:

  • Overtime or personnel backfill cost
  • Expendable supplies, such as disinfectants, medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) (masks, gloves and gowns)
  • Apparatus usage

Lastly, funding for overtime and backfill needs will be necessary as members are quarantined or isolated due to contact with infected patients. Funds are available for this purpose through the federally funded State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP) or the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). States and high-risk urban areas must justify proposed expenditures of SHSP or UASI funds in their Investment Justification submissions. Leaders should work with their governors and State Homeland Security directors to reprioritize and reprogram funds via their respective State Administrative Agency.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and exposures continue to grow, we want to make sure you have the latest information to protect the health and safety of our members and the public when responding to potential COVID-19 cases.


Quarantine and Isolation

It is important to identify where members will be quarantined if they’ve been exposed to a positive COVID-19 patient or isolated if the members test positive for COVID-19. Locations should be identified for these purposes if an outbreak occurs.

Members can be quarantined at home for 14 days with family members occupying the same residence provided that members avoid close contact with family members and maintain a 6-foot distance, self-monitor for any of the COVID-19 symptoms, practice and maintain personal hygiene (e.g., constant handwashing), avoid public contact and cooperate with local and state health departments.

If you’ve been exposed, you should make appropriate notifications and document the event in accordance to department protocols.

Follow the IAFF Return to Work Protocols


Workers’ Compensation and Administrative Leave Guidance

Affiliates in states or provinces with collective bargaining agreements should review them thoroughly prior to an event requiring the quarantine of your members. If no agreement is in place, recommendations include meeting with management, human resources directors, workers’ compensation directors and other decision makers before a COVID-19 incident occurs. The goal of the meeting is to agree to administrative leave if your members are quarantined and to award workers’ compensability if infected. Ensure the agreement is in writing by all applicable parties. Non-collective bargaining states should also meet with their employer and other decision makers to ensure members are afforded administrative leave if quarantined and awarded workers’ compensability if infected with COVID-19.

Plan to meet or connect with local and state health departments to discuss policies, procedures and precautions in case COVID-19 before it becomes widespread.


Decontamination

It is important to ensure your department has an adequate supply of or access to EPA-registered hospital grade disinfectants (list of disinfectants) for adequate decontamination of EMS transport vehicles and their contents.

Ensure those cleaning contaminated apparatuses are educated, trained and have practiced the process according to the manufacturer’s recommendations or the EMS agency’s standard operating procedures.


Dispatch Protocols

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).

Questions Dispatch Centers Should Be Asking to Screen for COVID-19:

  • What is the address of the emergency?
  • What is the phone number you are calling from?
  • Okay, tell me exactly what happened.
  • How old is the patient?
  • Is the patient awake?
  • Is the patient breathing?

If the patient is awake and breathing, before proceeding to the chief complaint protocol, ask the three questions below:

  1. Is the patient short of breath?
  2. Does the patient have a fever?
  3. Does the patient have a cough?

If YES to two out of the three questions, a pre-alert message should be sent to the responding crews informing them to don the appropriate PPE for COVID-19. The response configuration should be modified to minimize the number of first responders being exposed to a person under investigation.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please note that this is a rapidly changing situation so check back regularly for updates.

General Information

1. Where can I get information about the COVID-19 or coronavirus?

See the IAFF Coronavirus Resource and visit the CDC’s coronavirus webpage.

The CDC has updated guidance on EMS response, but the IAFF does not support their recommendation that face masks are an appropriate alternative if supply is low. Please see the IAFF’s letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar regarding this matter.

For the latest up-to-date information and PPE recommendations, check back regularly.

2. How many days is the CDC currently requiring quarantine for personnel exposed to a patient confirmed positive for COVID-19?

Members who experienced a high-risk exposure should notify their department in accordance with their exposure control plan and be placed in quarantine for 14 days.

Health officials recommend exposed individuals await the onset of signs and symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, respiratory difficulty) prior to being tested. Members who show signs or symptoms during quarantine should be tested. Members who test positive should move to isolation until:

  • Their fever is less than 99.9 F or 37.7 C without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and
  • Negative results (of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID-19) from at least two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens).

If test results are negative, stay in isolation until:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (recovery defined as fever less than 99.9 F or 37.7 C without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms, e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

3. Where are crew members with the exposure to a positive COVID-19 patient quarantined?

It is important to identify where members will be quarantined if they’ve been exposed to a positive COVID-19 patient or isolated if the members test positive for COVID-19. Locations should be identified for these purposes if an outbreak occurs.

Members can be quarantined at home for 14 days with family members occupying the same residence provided that members avoid close contact with family members and maintain a 6-foot distance, self-monitor for any of the COVID-19 symptoms, practice and maintain personal hygiene (e.g., constant handwashing), avoid public contact and cooperate with local and state health departments.

If you’ve been exposed, you should make appropriate notifications and document the event in accordance to your department’s exposure control plan.

4. Is a medical facility required to notify a designated officer in the fire department that members were exposed after treating or transporting a COVID-19 positive patient in accordance with the federal Ryan White Act? (NEW)

On March 27, 2020, the CDC/NIOSH updated the Ryan White Act to include COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has approved this change. Hospitals are now mandated to notify emergency response personnel of any exposure to a positive COVID-19 patient.

Also, on March 24, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at DHHS issued guidance on how covered entities may disclose protected health information (PHI) about an individual who has been infected with or exposed to COVID-19 to law enforcement, fire fighters, paramedics, other first responders and public health authorities in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule.

The guidance explains the circumstances under which a covered entity may disclose PHI, such as the name or other identifying information about individuals, without their HIPAA authorization and provides examples, including:

  • When needed to provide treatment
  • When required by law
  • When first responders may be at risk for an infection
  • When disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat

This guidance clarifies the regulatory permissions that covered entities may use to disclose PHI to first responders and others so they can take extra precautions or use personal protective equipment. The guidance also includes a reminder that, in general, covered entities must make reasonable efforts to limit the PHI used or disclosed to that which is the minimum necessary to accomplish the purpose for the disclosure.

5. What is SARS-CoV-2? (NEW)

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that can be contracted by humans and animals. The three types of coronavirus humans can get from animals are Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and the new Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that became the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Ultimately, reports that identify SARS-CoV-2 can also be applied to COVID-19.

6. My department has a limited supply and inventory of N95 respirators, exam gloves, protective eyewear and impervious gowns. Does the IAFF have a tool or recommendation on best practices to project the use of PPE for the upcoming days and weeks? (NEW)

The CDC has posted a PPE Strategy Burn Calculator to assist departments in tracking PPE usage for the next few weeks to assist with the logistics component of reordering PPE supplies for your department.

Health Information

1. Is there a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus?

Currently, there is no vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. However, if you have not had your influenza (flu) vaccine, you should strongly consider getting one, provided the vaccine is available in your area. Find the location and availability of the influenza vaccine in your area here: Find vaccine!

2. How can my members reduce their risk to a potentially positive COVID-19 patient?

In addition to enhancing dispatch protocols to include flu-like symptoms, such as fever, coughing and respiratory distress to 9-1-1 algorithms, providers must properly don and doff the required PPE, decontaminate equipment and vehicles, and implement department policy that requires limiting the number of members assessing, treating and transporting potentially positive COVID-19 patients.

3. What is the current treatment recommended for the COVID-19 virus should I test positive?

According to the CDC, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. Members with COVID-19 will receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment will include care to support vital organ functions.

4. What happens if I become symptomatic with some of the COVID-19 signs, such as fever or respiratory difficulty?

Comply with applicable requirements as instructed by your monitoring team (e.g., local health department, safety officer) when the quarantine was initiated. Additionally, testing for COVID-19 will likely be required. When possible, health department personnel will come to you to perform the testing for COVID-19, thus avoiding possible public contact.

5. Are all crew members treating or in proximity to the infected patient considered exposed with COVID-19?

No, only first responders who experienced a high-risk exposure should notify their department and be placed in quarantine for 14 days.

First responders who experienced a low-risk exposure should return to work and self-monitor for signs and symptoms, including taking their temperature and recording it twice a day. All exposures should be documented according to the department’s exposure control plan.

  • High-Risk Exposure – The first responder had a prolonged close contact exposure with a Person Under Investigation (PUI) or confirmed COVID-19 patient where neither the patient nor first responder was wearing a facemask or the first responder performed a high-risk procedure such as intubation, CPAP or nebulizer treatments without the full required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including a fluid-resistant gown, gloves, goggles and a N-95 or higher respirator.
  • Low-Risk Exposure – The first responder had a brief or prolonged interaction with a PUI or COVID-19 patient where the first responder wore the recommended PPE, donned and doffed the PPE correctly, properly decontaminated all reusable equipment and contact surfaces in vehicles, and washed hands and exposed skin with soap and warm water. Additional personnel not within 6-foot radius of patient but engaged on scene should be considered a low-risk exposure.

For more guidance, visit the CDC webpage.

6. How long can COVID-19 live outside the body on surfaces?

Because COVID-19 is a virus, it requires a host cell to reproduce. There are many variables to the survivability of the virus outside the body. The environment for the virus to survive must be just right. Disinfecting the apparatus, stretcher or equipment after exposure to a potential or confirmed positive patient requires the member to wear the appropriate PPE and use the recommended bleach solution, antiseptic wipes or 65 percent or higher alcohol-based cleanser to eliminate any possible virus survivability.

7. How do I reduce exposure to COVID-19 around the fire station?

Some best practices to prevent exposure to COVID-19 include washing your hands, not touching your face and avoiding contact with someone you believe is sick without wearing proper PPE. In addition to those practices, you should:

  • Shower before leaving work
  • Change into clean civilian clothes before heading home
  • Don’t bring station uniforms and work shoes home
  • Have contaminated or potentially contaminated clothing laundered at work
  • Maintain social distancing on duty and off duty

8. Does Ibuprofen make COVID-19 symptoms worse?

Currently, there is no scientific evidence establishing a link between ibuprofen and worsening of COVID‑19. Based on currently available information, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen. After consulting with physicians treating COVID-19 patients, WHO identified that there have not been any reports of negative effects of ibuprofen, beyond the usual known side effects that limit its use in certain populations.

9. As an affiliate leader, I’m getting push back from my fire chief regarding the IAFF’s temperature threshold (99.9 F or 37.7 C) for self-monitoring and return-to-work procedures. Is the temperature recommended consistent with CDC guidelines? (NEW)

According to the CDC, fever is currently defined as “measured temperature >100.00F or subjective fever” under “III. Recommendations for Monitoring Based on COVID-19 Exposure Risk.”

The IAFF’s temperature recommendation is greater than 99.9 F or 37.7 C due for members who fall into the two most vulnerable populations: the elderly and people with underlying health conditions. We’ve made this decision to lower the temperature recommendation to protect these groups per Dr. Allan Morrison.

10. The FDA recently approved a rapid COVID-19 test with results available within 45 minutes. I understand there are other rapid tests being developed outside the U.S. as well. Is the IAFF advocating to have these rapid tests available? (NEW)

Our physicians at Johns Hopkins University, along with the IAFF consultants relating to infectious disease, have real concerns about the variation in sensitivity (true positive rate) and specificity (true negative rate) of the tests, especially since academic centers have developed or are developing in-house tests. Additionally, our physicians recommend waiting for more information.

The IAFF recommends that members and departments continue to follow the guidance of their local public health department regarding testing for COVID-19.

PPE Information

1. Will an N95 respirator protect me from COVID-19?

COVID-19 aerosols are generated as part of a sneeze or cough with a bimodal size distribution of 72.0 µm and 386 µm.1 As the droplet travels in air, its size is reduced and it becomes more difficult for the particle to carry the virus, possibly due to shielding by organic materials.2  Zhu, N. et al. recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that the COVID-19 particles ranged in size from 60 to 140 nm.3  This is in the range of past studies which demonstrated Corona Viruses ranging in size from 80-90 nm.4 Does this mean that the COVID-19 particles will penetrate a NIOSH-approved N95? NIOSH requires that N95 respirators be capable of removing at least 95 percent of 0.3-micron particles. Rengasamy et al evaluated eight models of respirators meeting NIOSH N95 approval (CE-marked P2) and NIOSH P100 (CE-marked P3) approval for their capability against nanoparticles.5

The results showed that the N95 and P100 respirators approved by NIOSH and CE-marked P2 and P3 filtering face piece respirators are suitable protection devices for the COVID-19 response.


1Zhuyang, H., Wenguo, W., and Huang, Q.Y. Particle Size Distribution of Droplets Exhaled by Sneeze. (2013) Journal of Royal Society Interface, 10(88): 2013-0560.

2Zuo, Z. et al. Association of Airborne Virus Infectivity and Survivability with its Carrier Particle Size. (2013) Aerosol Science and Technology, 47: 373-382.

3Zhu, N. A Novel Corona Virus from Patients with Pneumonia in China. (2019) New England J of Med, 382 (8): 727-733.

4Gui, M. et al. Electron microscopy studies of the coronavirus ribonucleoprotein complex. (2017) Protein Cell, 8(3): 219-224.

5Rengasamy, S., Elmer, B.C., and Shaffer, R.E.  Comparison of Nanoparticle Filtration Performance of NIOSH-approved and CE-Marked Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators. The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Volume 53, Issue 2, March 2009, Pages 117-128.

2. What OSHA standard should my fire department be complying with as it relates to the N95 NIOSH-approved respirator and respirator fit testing?

3. When stockpiles and caches of expired N95 respirators are made available, will the expired respirators afford me protection against the COVID-19 virus?

Yes, the CDC/NIOSH have deemed the expired respirators safe to use in the field for protection against the COVID-19 virus. Prior to using, be sure to inspect the mask thoroughly for any discoloration and ensure the integrity of the straps. See the link for further information from the CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/release-stockpiled-N95.html

4. Can I use other NIOSH-approved respirators, such as a P95 or N100, to protect me from the COVID-19 virus?

Yes, see the CDC webpage for further information. Remember, OSHA approved fit testing is required for your respirator worn in the field. Other options are to use your SCBA facepiece as an Air Purifying Respirator (APR) with the appropriate filters or cartridges (minimum of 95 percent efficiency).

5. My department is having a difficult time procuring and ordering N95 respirators, gloves and other PPE to be worn against the COVID-19. What can we do?

Check with other departments and medical facilities in your area to see if they will offer-up supplies in their inventory for your members. Additionally, check with local and state emergency management officials, the Urban Search and Rescue Teams (USAR) Cache and the release of Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Supplies. State affiliate leaders should work directly with their governor’s office to have access to the various caches and the SNS supplies. Funding has been made available by the federal government to assist with COVID-19 education and prevention.

6. Due to limited PPE resources, how do I store my N95 provided it’s not contaminated?

We recommend placing the N95 in a paper bag for reuse: To maintain the integrity of the respirator, hang used respirators in a designated storage area or keep them in a clean, breathable container, such as a paper bag between uses. It is not recommended to modify the N95 respirator by placing any material within the respirator or over the respirator. Modification may negatively affect the performance of the respirator and could void the NIOSH approval.

If a paper bag is not feasible, other options include use of a Tupperware with holes poked into the lid for breathability or small cardboard boxes if they are strong enough. Any breathable container that would provide sufficient durability is good. Additionally, if you choose to use a Tupperware container, you can place it into a large deep pocket, fanny pack (if breathable), a mesh bag or add a carbineer clip so that you may have the respirator with you and readily available.

7. How many times can a N95 mask be used after the first initial use if there is a shortage of masks? (NEW)

Manufacturers should provide guidance on how long the respirator can last under circumstances of either extended use or limited reuse; however, general guidance from CDC based on research is up to eight hours of continuous or intermittent use or up to five separate uses (as long as the respirator is still functional and not obviously damaged).

Extended use refers to wearing the same N95 respirator for up to eight hours for repeated close contact encounters with several patients without removing the respirator between patient encounters.

Reuse refers to the practice of using the same N95 respirator for multiple encounters with patients, but removing (doffing) after each encounter. The respirator stored in between encounters is to be put on again (donned) prior to the next encounter with a patient. Reusing a respirator is allowed except when it has been used in a high-risk activity (e.g., intubation, nebulizer treatments, contact with positive case).

For more information, visit the CDC website.

8. Will a sewn mask provide enough protection? (NEW)

Not all facemasks, and not all materials, are created equally. Wearing a homemade mask with standard fabrics will potentially minimize viral load inhaled by only 10 percent, compared to minimizing the viral load by 95 percent when using a N95. Wearing a homemade mask is potentially more dangerous than remaining at least 6 feet from any potentially contagious people.

The case AGAINST using homemade facemasks is strong:

  1. Most materials that people have access to at home adsorb biological fluids (versus repel them). When the biological materials are adsorbed and then held close to your breathing zone, you have a much higher chance of ingesting or inhaling virus titer.
  2. In comparison to the filtration efficiency of an N95 mask (0.12 percent of particles penetrate), a cotton T-shirt material would allow 90 percent of particles through (via penetration).
  3. Finally, there is no way to create a tight fit for the homemade masks. Therefore, expect that greater than 90 percent of particle will get through via a combination of penetration and movement around the material.

The case FOR the use of homemade masks is singular:

  1. If we reach Level 3 of this pandemic in regards to PPE (no supplies exist), then the CDC guidance is clear that the homemade masks would be used as overcovers for the N95 masks. This means that they are meant to keep the N95s clean from detritus, NOT from viral particles. This allow you to wear them longer. If masks are made, they should be made from body-fluid resistant materials, such as Gore-Tex, that allow breathability and a sense of fluid resistance.

Family Information

1. How can my family receive information about COVID-19?

Share with your family members both the IAFF and the CDC websites. The IAFF will continue updating their resource, including information for family members, to give more information about the virus while allaying fears.

The following FAQs were developed following a call with Johns Hopkins physicians and the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ) to address concerns around COVID-19. The IAFF is happy to assist with district, state or local calls.

1. Are diabetic and asthmatic members who are healthy and on medication still a high risk or have different complications?

Yes. It is very important to be compliant with medications and minimize risk of exposure to the extent possible.

2. What are the effects of the virus on children from newborn to teenager?

To date, symptoms appear to be milder in children and teenagers, and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Infants are still considered a high-risk group as they would be for almost any infection.

3. What should we look for when dealing with the public? What's the usual order for presentation of symptoms? Fever, cough, then trouble breathing? Or can it present in different orders or with other symptoms altogether?

The most commonly reported symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are also reports of individuals have presented with gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea) prior to the onset of respiratory symptoms.

4. Is this any more concerning then the regular flu for a healthy person or child/infant?

This is a difficult question. In general, for adults and possibly for children and infants, the answer is yes. We know many cases do not have symptoms, which is good. The issue is the disease spreads and a certain percentage – estimates are at around 20 percent – may require hospitalization, with roughly 5 percent requiring ICU support.

5. Is it better to stay at work and work several shifts versus going home every day after a shift and possibly infecting our families or our crew?

Not necessarily. This answer is dependent on your exposures and whether you have family members who are elderly or in other higher-risk groups.

6. Is there any data available about past patients’ age, race, gender, social standing, etc., that show higher or lower rates for certain people?

Data to date have focused on patients who have more severe disease that requires hospitalization or have worse outcomes. We know individuals over 60 and individuals with comorbid conditions tend to have a higher rate of death than individuals who are less than 60 years old or individuals who do not have certain comorbid conditions.

Foire aux questions (FAQ) pour le COVID-19

Veuillez noter qu’il s’agit d’une situation qui évolue rapidement, il est donc avisé de consulter régulièrement cette foire aux questions pour des mises à jour.

Renseignements généraux

  1. Où puis-je obtenir des renseignements sur le COVID-19 ou le coronavirus?

Consultez les Ressources sur le coronavirus de l’AIP et visitez le site Web suivant (en anglais seulement) : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Les Centres pour le contrôle et la prévention des maladies (CDC) ont mis à jour les lignes directrices sur les interventions des SMU, (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-for-ems.html), mais l’AIP n’appuie pas leur recommandation selon laquelle les masques sont une solution de rechange appropriée si l’approvisionnement est faible.

Pour obtenir les renseignements les plus récents et les recommandations en matière d’ÉPI, veuillez consulter régulièrement ces sites Web.

  1. Combien de jours les CDC exigent-ils actuellement pour la mise en quarantaine du personnel exposé à un patient confirmé comme étant atteint du COVID-19?

Les membres ayant eu une exposition à risque élevé devraient aviser leur service d’incendie conformément à leur plan de contrôle de l’exposition et être placés en quarantaine pendant 14 jours. Les dirigeants en matière de santé recommandent aux personnes exposées d’attendre l’apparition des signes et des symptômes (fièvre, toux, difficultés respiratoires, etc.) avant d’être testées. Les membres présentant des signes ou des symptômes pendant la quarantaine doivent être testés. Les membres dont le test de dépistage est positif doivent passer à l’isolement jusqu’à ce que :

  • leur fièvre soit inférieure à 37,7o C ou 99,9 o F sans l’utilisation de médicaments réduisant la fièvre et
  • il y ait amélioration au niveau des symptômes respiratoires (par exemple : toux, essoufflement); et
  • ils reçoivent des résultats négatifs (d’un essai biologique moléculaire d’urgence autorisé par le Secrétariat américain aux produits alimentaires et pharmaceutiques [la FDA] pour le COVID-19) d’au moins deux prélèvements par écouvillonnage du nasopharynx consécutifs prélevés à au moins 24 heures d’intervalle (un total de deux prélèvements négatifs).

Si les résultats du test de dépistage sont négatifs, le membre doit rester isolé jusqu’à ce que :

  • au moins 3 jours (72 heures) se soient écoulés depuis le rétablissement, défini comme une fièvre de moins de 37,7 o C ou 99,9 o F sans l’utilisation de médicaments réduisant la fièvre et qu’il y ait amélioration au niveau des symptômes respiratoires (par exemple : toux, essoufflement); et
  • au moins 7 jours se soient écoulés depuis l’apparition des premiers symptômes.
  1. Où les membres de l’équipe ayant été exposés à une personne confirmée comme atteinte du COVID-19 sont-ils mis en quarantaine?

Il est important de déterminer où les membres seront mis en quarantaine s’ils ont été exposés à un patient confirmé comme étant atteint du COVID-19 ou où ils seront en isolement s’ils ont obtenu un résultat positif au test de dépistage du COVID-19. En cas d’éclosion, il faut indiquer les emplacements à ces fins.

Les membres peuvent être mis en quarantaine à domicile pendant 14 jours, avec les membres de leur famille occupant la même résidence, à condition qu’ils évitent tout contact étroit avec les membres de leur famille et qu’ils maintiennent une distance de 2 mètres (6 pieds) entre eux, qu’ils surveillent l’apparition de symptômes du COVID-19, qu’ils pratiquent et qu’ils maintiennent une saine hygiène personnelle (par exemple : constant lavage des mains), qu’ils évitent les contacts avec le grand public et qu’ils collaborent avec les services de santé locaux et de l’État.

Si vous avez été exposé, vous devez communiquer les avis appropriés et documenter l’événement conformément au plan de contrôle de l’exposition de votre service d’incendie.

  1. Un établissement médical doit-il aviser un agent désigné du service d’incendie que des membres ont été exposés après avoir pris soin d’un patient atteint du COVID-19 ou après l’avoir transporté, conformément à la loi fédérale Ryan White CARE Act? (NOUVEAU)

Le 27 mars 2020, les CDC et l’Institut national de santé et de sécurité au travail des États-Unis (le NIOSH) ont mis à jour la loi fédérale Ryan White CARE Act pour y inclure le COVID-19. Le Département de la Santé et des Services sociaux des États-Unis (DHHS) a approuvé ce changement. Les hôpitaux sont maintenant tenus d’aviser le personnel d’intervention d’urgence de toute exposition à un patient atteint du COVID-19.

De plus, le 24 mars 2020, le Bureau des droits civils (OCR) du DHHS a publié des lignes directrices sur la façon dont les entités visées peuvent divulguer des renseignements de santé protégés au sujet d’une personne ayant été infectée par le COVID-19 ou ayant été exposée aux forces de l’ordre, aux pompiers, aux ambulanciers, aux autres premiers intervenants et autorités de santé publique conformément à la règle de confidentialité de la Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) (Loi sur la transférabilité et la responsabilité en matière d’assurance maladie de 1996).

Les lignes directrices expliquent les circonstances dans lesquelles une entité visée peut divulguer des renseignements de santé protégés, comme le nom ou d’autres renseignements d’identification sur des personnes, sans leur autorisation en vertu de la HIPAA, et fournissent des exemples, notamment :

  • Au besoin, fournir des soins
  • Lorsque la loi l’exige
  • Lorsque les premiers intervenants peuvent être exposés à un risque d’infection
  • Lorsque la divulgation est nécessaire pour prévenir ou atténuer une menace grave et imminente

Ces lignes directrices clarifient les autorisations réglementaires que les entités visées peuvent utiliser pour divulguer des renseignements de santé protégés aux premiers intervenants et à d’autres afin qu’ils puissent prendre des précautions supplémentaires ou utiliser des ÉPI. Les lignes directrices comprennent également un rappel qu’en général, les entités visées doivent faire des efforts raisonnables pour limiter l’utilisation et la divulgation des renseignements de santé protégés au minimum nécessaire pour atteindre le point de la divulgation.

  1. Qu’est-ce que le SRAS-CoV-2? (NOUVEAU)

La famille des coronavirus comprend les virus pouvant être contractés par les humains et les animaux. Les trois types de coronavirus que les humains peuvent attraper des animaux sont le syndrome respiratoire du Moyen-Orient (MERS-CoV), le syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère (SRAS-CoV) et le nouveau coronavirus, le syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère (SRAS-CoV-2). Le SRAS-CoV-2 est le virus étant devenu la maladie du coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). En fin de compte, les rapports qui identifient le SRAS-CoV-2 peuvent également être appliqués au COVID-19.

  1. Mon service d’incendie dispose d’un approvisionnement et d’un inventaire limités de masques respiratoires N95, de gants d’examen, de lunettes de protection et de blouses imperméables. L’AIP a-t-elle un outil ou une recommandation sur les pratiques exemplaires pour projeter l’utilisation d’ÉPI pour les jours et les semaines à venir?

Les CDC ont affiché un calculateur pour la stratégie d’utilisation d’ÉPI (en anglais seulement) pour aider les services d’incendie à effectuer le suivi de l’utilisation des ÉPI au cours des prochaines semaines afin d’aider à la composante logistique de la commande de fournitures d’ÉPI pour votre service d’incendie.

 

Renseignements sur la santé

  1. Y a-t-il un vaccin contre le virus COVID-19?

À l’heure actuelle, il n’y a pas de vaccin contre le virus COVID-19. Toutefois, si vous n’avez pas reçu votre vaccin antigrippal (grippe), vous devriez envisager sérieusement d’en recevoir un, à condition que le vaccin soit disponible dans votre région. Trouvez l’emplacement et la disponibilité du vaccin antigrippal dans votre région ici : Trouvez un vaccin!

  1. Comment les membres de mon service d’incendie peuvent-ils réduire leur risque d’exposition à un patient potentiellement atteint du COVID-19?

En plus d’améliorer les protocoles de répartition pour inclure les « symptômes semblables à ceux de la grippe » comme la fièvre, la toux et la détresse respiratoire dans les algorithmes du 911, les fournisseurs de soins doivent enfiler et enlever correctement l’ÉPI requis, décontaminer l’équipement et les véhicules et mettre en œuvre une politique au sein du service d’incendie exigeant de limiter le nombre de membres évaluant, traitant et transportant des patients potentiellement atteints du COVID-19.

  1. Quel est le traitement recommandé actuellement pour le virus COVID-19 si le test de dépistage est positif?

Selon les CDC, aucun traitement antiviral spécifique n’est recommandé pour le COVID-19. Les membres étant atteints du COVID-19 recevront des soins de soutien pour aider à soulager les symptômes. Dans les cas graves, le traitement comprendra des soins pour soutenir les fonctions vitales des organes.

  1. Que se passe-t-il si je deviens symptomatique de certains des signes du COVID-19, comme de la fièvre ou des difficultés respiratoires?

Vous devez vous conformer aux exigences applicables selon les directives de votre équipe de surveillance (par exemple : service de santé local, agent de sécurité) lorsque la mise en quarantaine a été amorcée. De plus, des tests de dépistage pour le COVID-19 seront probablement nécessaires, s’ils sont disponibles, et vous seront amenés en isolement.

  1. Est-ce que tous les membres de l’équipe traitant le patient infecté ou se trouvant à proximité de celui-ci sont considérés comme ayant été exposés au COVID-19? (NOUVEAU)

Non, seuls les premiers intervenants ayant eu une exposition à risque élevé doivent aviser leur service d’incendie et être mis en quarantaine pendant 14 jours. Les premiers intervenants ayant eu une exposition à faible risque doivent retourner au travail et surveiller s’ils ont des signes et des symptômes, y compris prendre leur température et la prendre en note deux fois par jour. Toutes les expositions doivent être documentées conformément au plan de contrôle de l’exposition de leur service d’incendie.

  • Exposition à risque élevé – Le premier intervenant a été exposé pendant une période prolongée dans le cadre d’un contact étroit avec une personne faisant l’objet d’une enquête ou un patient confirmé comme étant atteint du COVID-19, durant laquelle ni le patient ni le premier intervenant ne portaient de masque ou durant laquelle le premier intervenant a effectué une intervention à risque élevé, comme une intubation, un traitement de ventilation spontanée en pression positive continue (CPAP) ou un traitement avec un nébuliseur sans l’ÉPI complet requis, qui comprend une blouse étanche, des gants, des lunettes de protection et un masque respiratoire N-95 ou plus.
  • Exposition à faible risque – Le premier intervenant a eu une brève interaction ou une interaction prolongée avec un patient faisant l’objet d’une enquête ou confirmé comme étant atteint du COVID-19, durant laquelle le premier intervenant portait l’ÉPI recommandé, a enfilé et enlevé correctement l’ÉPI, a décontaminé correctement tout l’équipement réutilisable et les surfaces de contact dans les véhicules, et s’est lavé les mains et la peau exposée avec du savon et de l’eau tiède. Le personnel supplémentaire qui ne se trouvait pas dans un rayon de deux mètres (six pieds) du patient, mais ayant été engagé sur les lieux devrait être considéré comme ayant eu une exposition à faible risque.

Pour plus de lignes directrices, veuillez consulter le site Web suivant (en anglais seulement) : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html.

  1. Combien de temps le COVID-19 peut-il vivre à l’extérieur du corps sur les surfaces?

Comme le COVID-19 est un virus, il lui faut une cellule hôte pour se reproduire. De nombreuses variables ont une influence sur la capacité de survie du virus à l’extérieur du corps. L’environnement nécessaire à la survie du virus doit être favorable. Pour désinfecter l’engin d’incendie, la civière ou l’équipement après une exposition à un patient potentiellement atteint ou confirmé comme étant atteint, le membre doit porter l’ÉPI approprié et utiliser la solution javellisée recommandée, des lingettes antiseptiques ou un nettoyant à base d’alcool avec un taux d’alcool égal ou supérieur à 70 %, afin d’éliminer toute possibilité de survie du virus. Il faut traiter la zone comme si elle avait été contaminée par le virus et la désinfecter en conséquence.

  1. Comment réduire l’exposition au COVID-19 dans la caserne de pompiers?

Parmi les pratiques exemplaires pour prévenir l’exposition au COVID-19, mentionnons les bonnes pratiques habituelles : lavez-vous les mains, ne vous touchez pas le visage et évitez tout contact avec une personne que vous croyez malade et ne portant pas l’ÉPI approprié. En plus de ces pratiques, vous devez :

  • prendre une douche avant de quitter le travail
  • changer de vêtements pour des vêtements civils propres avant de rentrer à la maison
  • ne pas apporter d’uniformes et de chaussures de travail à la maison
  • laver vos vêtements contaminés ou potentiellement contaminés au travail
  • maintenir une distance physique autant au travail qu’à l’extérieur.
  1. L’ibuprofène aggrave-t-il les symptômes du COVID-19?

À l’heure actuelle, il n’existe aucune preuve scientifique établissant un lien entre l’ibuprofène et l’aggravation des symptômes du COVID‑19. D’après les renseignements actuellement disponibles, l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) n’a pas émis de mise en garde contre l’utilisation de l’ibuprofène. Après avoir consulté des médecins traitants des patients atteints du COVID-19, l’OMS a déterminé qu’aucun effet négatif de l’ibuprofène n’avait été signalé, au-delà des effets secondaires habituels et connus limitant son utilisation pour certaines populations.

  1. En tant que chef affilié, je reçois des réactions de la part de mon chef des pompiers au sujet du seuil de température déterminé par l’AIP (37,7o C ou 99,9o F) pour les procédures d’autosurveillance et de retour au travail. La température recommandée est-elle conforme aux lignes directrices des CDC? (NOUVEAU)

Selon les CDC, la fièvre est actuellement définie comme une « température mesurée >37,7 °C ou 100,00o F ou fièvre subjective » en vertu de la section « III. Recommandations pour la surveillance fondée sur le risque d’exposition au COVID-19 » (en anglais seulement).

Le seuil de température recommandé par l’AIP est une température supérieure à 37,7 o C ou 99,9o F pour les membres appartenant aux deux groupes de population les plus vulnérables : les personnes âgées et les personnes ayant des problèmes de santé sous-jacents. Nous avons pris la décision d’abaisser ce seuil de température recommandé, selon la recommandation du Dr Allan Morrison, afin de protéger ces groupes.

  1. La FDA a récemment approuvé un test de dépistage rapide pour le COVID-19 dont les résultats sont disponibles dans les 45 minutes. Je crois savoir qu’il y a également d’autres tests de dépistage rapides en cours d’élaboration à l’extérieur des États-Unis. L’AIP préconise-t-elle la mise à disposition de ces tests de dépistage rapides? (NOUVEAU)

Nos médecins de l’Université Johns-Hopkins, ainsi que les consultants de l’AIP en ce qui a trait aux maladies infectieuses, sont très préoccupés par la variation de la sensibilité (taux de vrais positifs) et de la spécificité (taux de vrais négatifs) des tests de dépistage, d’autant plus que les centres universitaires ont développé ou sont en train de développer des tests à l’interne. De plus, nos médecins recommandent d’attendre d’avoir plus de renseignements.

L’AIP recommande que les membres et les services d’incendie continuent de suivre les directives de leurs services de santé publique locaux en ce qui concerne les tests de dépistage du COVID-19.

 

Équipement de protection individuelle (ÉPI)

  1. Un masque respiratoire N95 me protégera-t-il contre le COVID-19?

Les aérosols du COVID-19 sont produits lors d’un éternuement ou d’une toux avec une distribution bimodale de 72,0 µm et 386 µ m.1 4 À mesure que la gouttelette circule dans l’air, sa taille est réduite et il devient plus difficile pour la particule de transporter le virus, peut-être en raison de la protection fournie par des matières organiques.2 Zhu, N. et coll. ont récemment signalé dans le New England Journal of Medicine que les particules du COVID-19 avaient une taille allant de 60 à 140 nm.3C’est dans la gamme des études antérieures qui ont démontré que les coronavirus avaient une taille allant de 80 à 90 nm.4 Cela signifie-t-il que les particules du COVID-19 pénétreront un masque respiratoire N95 approuvé par le NIOSH? Le NIOSH exige que les masques respiratoires N95 puissent éliminer au moins 95 % des particules de 0,3 micron. Rengasamy et coll. ont évalué huit modèles de masques respiratoires conformes à l’approbation du NIOSH pour les masques respiratoires N95 (marqués CE P2) et pour les masques respiratoires P100 (marqués CE P3) pour leur capacité de protection contre les nanoparticules.5

Les résultats ont montré que les masques respiratoires N95 et P100 approuvés par le NIOSH et les masques respiratoires filtrants P2 et P3 marqués CE sont des dispositifs de protection appropriés pour les interventions liées au COVID-19.

1 Zhuyang, H., Wenguo, W., et Huang, Q.Y. Particle Size Distribution of Droplets Exhaled by Sneeze. (2013) Journal of Royal Society Interface, 10(88): 2013-0560.

2 Zuo, Z. et coll. Association of Airborne Virus Infectivity and Survivability with its Carrier Particle Size. (2013) Aerosol Science and Technology, 47 : 373-382.

3 Zhu, N. A Novel Corona Virus from Patients with Pneumonia in China. (2019) New England Journal of Medicine, 382 (8) : 727-733.

4 Gui, M. et coll. Electron microscopy studies of the coronavirus ribonucleoprotein complex. (2017) Protein Cell, 8(3) : 219-224.

5 Rengasamy, S., Elmer, B.C., et Shaffer, R.E. Comparison of Nanoparticle Filtration Performance of NIOSH-approved and CE-Marked Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators. The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, vol. 53, no 2, mars 2009, p. 117–128.

  1. Quelle norme de l’Administration états-unienne de la santé et de la sécurité au travail (l’OSHA) mon service d’incendie devrait-il respecter en ce qui a trait aux masques respiratoires N95 approuvés par le NIOSH et aux essais d’ajustement des masques respiratoires? 29 CFR 1910.134 – Norme en matière de protection respiratoire —

Norme en matière de protection respiratoire (en anglais et en espagnol seulement).

Procédures et exigences d’essai d’ajustement — Procédures d’essai d’ajustement

En date du 14 mars 2020, les Directives temporaires d’application pour les essais d’ajustement des masques respiratoires de l’OSHA — nouvelles directives temporaires

  1. Lorsque les stocks et les caches de masques respiratoires N95 expirés seront mis à ma disposition, ces masques respiratoires expirés me protégeront-ils contre le virus COVID-19?

Oui, les CDC et le NIOSH ont jugé que les masques respiratoires expirés pouvaient être utilisés sur le terrain pour assurer une protection contre le virus COVID-19. Avant de l’utiliser, assurez-vous que le masque ne présente aucune décoloration et assurez-vous de l’intégrité des sangles. Cliquez sur le lien pour de plus amples renseignements de la part des CDC (en anglais seulement) — https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/release-stockpiled-N95.html

  1. Puis-je utiliser d’autres masques respiratoires approuvés par le NIOSH, comme un P95 ou un N100, pour me protéger contre le virus COVID-19?

Oui, veuillez consulter le lien suivant des CDC pour de plus amples renseignements (en anglais seulement). https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/default.html. N’oubliez pas que des essais d’ajustement approuvés par l’OSHA sont requis pour votre masque respiratoire porté sur le terrain. Les autres options sont d’utiliser votre inhalateur d’oxygène APRA comme respirateur à adduction d’air filtré (APR) avec les filtres ou cartouches appropriés (efficacité minimale de 95 %).

  1. Mon service d’incendie a de la difficulté à se procurer et à commander des masques respiratoires N95, des gants et d’autres ÉPI à porter pour se protéger contre le COVID-19. Que pouvons-nous faire?

Vérifiez auprès des autres services d’incendie et installations médicales de votre région pour savoir s’ils sont prêts à offrir des fournitures de leur inventaire pour vos membres. De plus, vérifiez auprès des dirigeants de la gestion des urgences municipaux et étatiques, de la cache des Équipes de la recherche et du sauvetage en milieu urbain (RSMU) et de la distribution des fournitures de la Réserve nationale stratégique (SNS). Les chefs affiliés étatiques doivent travailler directement avec le bureau de leur gouverneur pour avoir accès aux diverses caches et aux fournitures de la SNS. Le gouvernement fédéral a débloqué des fonds pour aider à l’éducation et à la prévention liées à la situation causée par le COVID-19.

  1. En raison des ressources limitées en ÉPI, comment puis-je entreposer mon masque N95 à condition qu’il ne soit pas contaminé?

Nous recommandons de placer le masque N95 dans un sac en papier pour le réutiliser : Pour maintenir l’intégrité du masque respiratoire, accrochez les masques respiratoires usagés dans une aire d’entreposage désignée ou conservez-les dans un contenant propre et perméable à l’air, comme un sac en papier, entre les utilisations. Il n’est pas recommandé de modifier le masque respiratoire N95 en plaçant du matériel dans le masque respiratoire ou par-dessus celui-ci. Toute modification peut avoir une incidence négative sur le rendement du masque respiratoire et pourrait rendre nulle l’approbation du NIOSH.

Si l’utilisation d’un sac en papier n’est pas possible, d’autres options comprennent l’utilisation d’un contenant de plastique de type Tupperware avec des trous dans le couvercle pour assurer la perméabilité à l’air ou des petites boîtes en carton, si elles sont assez solides. Tout contenant perméable à l’air qui assure une durabilité suffisante est un bon choix. De plus, si vous choisissez d’utiliser un contenant de plastique de type Tupperware, vous pouvez le placer dans une grande poche profonde, dans un sac banane spacieux (s’il est perméable à l’air), dans un sac en filet ou encore ajouter un mousqueton afin que vous puissiez garder le masque respiratoire avec vous et qu’il soit facilement accessible.

  1. Combien de fois un masque N95 peut-il être utilisé après la première utilisation initiale s’il y a une pénurie de masques? (NOUVEAU)

Les fabricants devraient fournir des directives sur la durée de vie des masques respiratoires dans des circonstances d’utilisation prolongée ou de réutilisation limitée, toutefois, les directives générales des CDC fondées sur la recherche indiquent jusqu’à huit heures d’utilisation continue ou intermittente ou jusqu’à cinq utilisations distinctes (tant que le masque respiratoire est toujours fonctionnel et qu’il n’est pas visiblement endommagé).

Par « utilisation prolongée », on entend le port du même masque respiratoire N95 pendant une période pouvant aller jusqu’à huit heures en cas de contacts étroits répétés avec plusieurs patients sans enlever le masque respiratoire entre les interventions.

La réutilisation fait référence à la pratique consistant à utiliser le même masque respiratoire N95 pour de multiples interventions avec des patients, mais à le retirer (l’enlever) après chaque intervention. Le masque respiratoire entreposé entre les interventions doit être remis en place (enfilé) avant la prochaine intervention avec un patient. Il est permis de réutiliser un masque respiratoire, sauf lorsqu’il a été utilisé dans une activité à risque élevé (par exemple : intubation, traitement avec un nébuliseur, contact avec patient confirmé comme étant atteint).

Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez consulter le site Web des CDC (en anglais seulement).

 

  1. Un masque cousu offrirait-il une protection suffisante? (NOUVEAU)

Les masques et les matériaux ne sont pas tous créés de façon égale. Le port d’un masque artisanal avec des tissus standard peut potentiellement réduire la charge virale inhalée de seulement 10 %, comparativement à une réduction de la charge virale de 95 % lors de l’utilisation d’un masque respiratoire N95. Porter un masque artisanal est potentiellement plus dangereux que de rester à au moins 2 mètres (6 pieds) de toute personne potentiellement contagieuse.

Les arguments CONTRE l’utilisation de masques artisanaux sont solides :

  1. La plupart des matériaux auxquels les gens ont accès à domicile absorbent les liquides biologiques (plutôt que de les repousser). Lorsque les matières biologiques sont absorbées et maintenues près de votre zone respiratoire, vous avez beaucoup plus de chances d’ingérer ou d’inhaler le titre du virus.
  2. Comparativement à l’efficacité de filtration d’un masque respiratoire N95 (0,12 % des particules pénètrent), le matériau d’un t-shirt en coton permettrait à 90 % des particules de traverser (par pénétration).
  3. Enfin, il n’y a aucun moyen de créer un ajustement serré pour les masques artisanaux. Par conséquent, on s’attend à ce que plus de 90 % des particules passent par une combinaison de pénétration et de mouvement autour du matériau.

 

Les arguments EN FAVEUR de l’utilisation de masques artisanaux sont singuliers :

  1. Si nous atteignons le niveau 3 de cette pandémie en ce qui a trait à l’ÉPI (il n’y a pas d’approvisionnement), alors les lignes directrices des CDC indiquent clairement que les masques artisanaux seraient utilisés comme couverture par-dessus les masques respiratoires N95. Cela signifie qu’ils seraient destinés à garder les masques respiratoires N95 exempts de détritus, PAS exempts de particules virales. Cela vous permet de les porter plus longtemps. Si des masques sont fabriqués, ils doivent être faits de matériaux résistants aux liquides organiques, comme le Gore-Tex, qui offrent une perméabilité à l’air et un sentiment de résistance aux liquides.

 

Renseignements pour la famille

  1. Comment ma famille peut-elle recevoir de l’information sur le COVID-19?

Partagez avec les membres de votre famille les sites Web de l’AIP et des CDC. L’AIP continuera de mettre à jour ses ressources, y compris les renseignements à l’intention des membres de la famille, afin de fournir plus de renseignements sur le virus tout en dissipant les craintes.

 

Les FAQ suivantes ont été élaborées à la suite d’un appel avec les médecins de l’Université Johns-Hopkins et avec l’Association des pompiers professionnels du New Jersey (PFANJ) afin de répondre aux préoccupations liées au COVID-19. L’AIP se fait un plaisir d’aider à répondre aux appels municipaux, de district ou étatiques.

 

  • Les membres diabétiques et asthmatiques étant en bonne santé et prenant des médicaments présentent-ils toujours un risque élevé ou présentent-ils des complications différentes? 

 

Oui. Il est très important de se conformer aux directives concernant les médicaments et de minimiser le risque d’exposition dans la mesure du possible.

 

  • Quels sont les effets du virus sur les enfants, du nouveau-né à l’adolescent?

 

À ce jour, les symptômes semblent plus légers chez les enfants et les adolescents, et comprennent la fièvre, la toux et l’essoufflement. Les nourrissons sont toujours considérés comme un groupe à risque élevé, comme ils le seraient pour presque n’importe quelle infection.

 

  • À quoi devrions-nous être attentifs lors de nos rapports avec le grand public? Quel est l’ordre habituel de présentation des symptômes? D’abord la fièvre, la toux, et ensuite des difficultés respiratoires, ou est-ce que les symptômes peuvent se manifester dans un ordre différent ou avec d’autres symptômes?

 

Les symptômes les plus fréquemment signalés sont la fièvre, la toux et l’essoufflement. On signale également que des personnes ont présenté des symptômes gastro-intestinaux (maux d’estomacs, diarrhées, nausées) avant l’apparition des symptômes respiratoires.

 

  • Est-ce que le COVID-19 est plus préoccupant que la grippe régulière pour une personne en santé, ou un enfant ou un nourrisson en santé?

 

C’est une question difficile. En général, pour les adultes et peut-être pour les enfants et les nourrissons, la réponse est oui. Nous savons que dans de nombreux cas, les personnes n’ont pas de symptômes, ce qui est bien. Le problème, c’est la propagation de la maladie et le fait qu’un certain pourcentage des personnes atteintes, estimé à environ 20 %, pourrait nécessiter une hospitalisation, et qu’environ 5 % des personnes atteintes auront besoin de soins intensifs.

 

  • Vaut-il mieux rester au travail et travailler plusieurs quarts de travail plutôt que de rentrer à la maison tous les jours après un quart de travail et peut-être infecter nos familles ou notre équipe?

 

Pas nécessairement. Cette réponse dépend de vos expositions et du fait que vous ayez ou non des membres de votre famille étant plus âgés ou faisant partie d’autres groupes de populations à risque élevé.

 

  • Y a-t-il des données disponibles sur l’âge, la race, le sexe, le statut social, etc. des patients antérieurs montrant des taux plus élevés ou plus faibles de contamination pour certaines personnes?

 

Jusqu’à maintenant, les données ont été concentrées sur les patients ayant une maladie plus grave nécessitant une hospitalisation ou les patients pour qui le dénouement n’était pas positif. Nous savons que les personnes de plus de 60 ans et les personnes ayant des problèmes de comorbidité ont tendance à avoir un taux de mortalité plus élevé que les personnes de moins de 60 ans ou les personnes n’ayant pas certains problèmes de comorbidité.

COVID-19: The IAFF Has Your Back

IAFF Kitchen Table: Legal Considerations

A Message From General President Harold Schaitberger

Donning and Doffing

Signs and Symptoms

Awareness and Precautions PSA

A Message From Your Fire Fighters and Paramedics

Risk Assessment for Potential Exposure

Updates (It's a Big Deal)

Self-Monitoring Preparation and Protection

Briefing at Legislative Conference

The following hotels are offering special rates and discounts to healthcare workers, including fire fighters and emergency medical personnel, who are on the frontlines in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and may need a place to stay close to their work location or to self-quarantine away from their homes and families to protect their loved ones.

COVID-19 Prevent the Spread Flyer

COVID-19 Station Cleaning Checklist

COVID-19 Apparatus Cleaning Checklist

Checklist: 10 Things Your Local Should Be Doing for COVID-19 Response

Recommended Guidelines for Selection, Care and Cleaning/Sanitization of Structural Fire Fighting Protective Clothing

Return to Work Procedures

How to Extend the Life of Respiratory Equipment

Ryan White Act Sample Letter

Risk Assessment for Potential Exposure

Post-Exposure/Quarantine Symptom Monitoring Tracker

COVID-19 Self-Screening Guidelines

Live Map of Global Coronavirus Cases (Johns Hopkins University)

Printable PDF: Interim Guidance for EMS (IAFF)

Coronavirus Overview (CDC)

Infection Prevention and Control (WHO)

Infection Prevention and Control (CDC)

Recommended PPE (CDC)

911 Dispatch Recommendations: Special Respiratory Protections (EMS Infectious Disease Playbook)


Behavioral Health Resources

Spiritual Connection During COVID-19

Staying Sober During COVID-19

Coronavirus Guidance for Peer Support

COVID-19 Behavioral Health Considerations

IAFF Guide to Managing Coronavirus Anxiety

What to Expect in Quarantine

Helping Your Family Cope With COVID-19

Is Telemental Health Right for Me?


Canadian Resources

Government of Canada Website: Coronavirus

Québec Website: Coronavirus

Liste de lecture sur le COVID-19 (en français)

Contact Us

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 that this webpage does not address. We want to make sure we are providing as much information as possible to our membership.


Media Inquiries

Doug Stern
(513) 919-4311
[email protected]