IAFF MEMBER COVID-19 DEATHS

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.


July 30 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued a warning to consumers and healthcare providers regarding some hand sanitizer products labeled to contain ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, that have tested positive for methanol contaminationThe FDA has compiled a list of hand sanitizers containing methanol.

July 22 – Congress passes legislation to establish presumptive benefits for COVID-19.

July 16 As COVID-19 cases and exposures continue to grow and new hotspots are identified, make sure you have the latest guidance, best practices and information to protect your health and safety and the public’s safety as you remain on the frontlines of this pandemic: 7 Best Practices to Reduce COVID-19 Exposure.

July 15 – Given the wide-ranging benefits that regular exercise can have on our physical, emotional and mental health, it is critical to stay connected and continue to support, motivate and challenge each other to stay safe, stay healthy and stay active. New fitness guides have been added to our COVID-19 resources:

July 9 – Mayday Events on the Rise During COVID-19
Mayday events have increased 35% during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent civil unrest, according to Don Abbott, former assistant fire chief of the Warren Township (Indiana) Fire Department, who has pioneered the study of thousands of Mayday events, including video, radio traffic and surveys dating back to 2015.

June 12 – For members in recovery from an alcohol or substance use disorder, public restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic can pose unique threats and challenges to an established recovery plan. To support continued recovery during these unprecedented times, we are offering IAFF online recovery meetings for members coping with or in recovery from an alcohol or substance use problem. Attend a Meeting

June 8 – The IAFF has released guidance on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) related to COVID-19.

June 5 – We are saddened by the news that Local 22 member Eric Gore passed away from COVID-19 on June 2. Our hearts go out to his family and Local 22 brothers and sisters.

June 3 – See the IAFF’s updated guidance for resuming CPAT testing.

June 2 – See these new training videos from the San Antonio Fire Department featuring guidelines for designing and safely performing testing at skilled nursing homes and large-scale testing sites:

May 28 – IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger is quoted in today’s Washington Post story on the risk fire fighters and paramedics face without having the proper PPE they need during the coronavirus pandemic.

May 26 – Check out brand-new IAFF exercise guides, designed with the current environment in mind. More guides like these can be found in the Resources tab.

May 22 – Some states are starting to require fire fighters to assist with performing testing on residents in skilled nursing homes. These are hot zones and often the tasks are out of the scope of individuals’ training or practice. This testing guidance on best practices includes how to safely perform testing for both the nursing home residents and fire fighters.

May 20 – Until an effective vaccine is available, testing for COVID-19 can help slow the spread of the disease. Check out the new tab added to this resource page on COVID-19 Testing.

May 19 – With the significant health concerns related to COVID-19 and all the restrictions across the U.S. and Canada, the IAFF Executive Board on May 14, 2020, approved a motion to conduct the 2020 Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial ceremony without attendees, broadcasting it as a respectful virtual ceremony on September 19, 2020. We will still be engraving members’ names on our Wall of Honor this year and will note those etched on our Memorial during the virtual ceremony. All 2020 honoree families will be invited to attend the 2021 Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial where our fallen members will receive proper recognition along with those lost in 2020 at a traditional ceremony, with all families receiving their flag.

More

May 18 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended the deadline for applications for FY 2019 Staffing for SAFER grant funding to 5:00 p.m. on May 27, 2020. There is $350 million available in federal grants to add fire fighters to departments in need. Career, combination and volunteer fire departments are eligible to apply. Learn More

May 13 – The IAFF Financial Corporation is hosting a webinar Thursday, May 14 at 3:00 p.m. EDT on mortgage relief options with experts from CrossCountry Mortgage. Experts will discuss mortgage relief options, where to turn for help and how to avoid scams.

May 8 – During these times of uncertainty when we are encouraged to stay indoors, avoid group settings and practice physical distancing, it can be challenging to stay physically active. These IAFF exercise and physical activity resources can help:

May 7 – During a disease outbreak or pandemic, it is normal to have some anxiety about contracting the virus. However, if fear of COVID-19 is causing you or someone you love significant anxiety, these strategies can help you cope. Find more IAFF behavioral health resources here.

May 1 In our latest IAFF Podcast, members of the IAFF Health and Safety Division discuss our behavioral health initiatives during COVID-19.

April 29 We have developed Guidance for Fire Department and Union Operations to assist affiliates and their fire departments in returning to normal operations in accordance with federal, state and local guidance as communities begin to reopen to maintain the health and safety of our workforce as we continue to provide optimum service to our communities during this transition.

Our Fire Fighter Resilience During COVID-19 campaign beginning May 1 focuses on movement, nutrition, wellness, resilience, sleep and many other topics, and features health and wellness subject matter experts. Learn more

April 28 In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hilton is donating one million room nights for frontline medical professionals in the United States (the Hilton link above will prompt you to log in to the IAFF website if you have not already). See our Hotels section for more offers.

April 24 The IAFF continues to urge Congress to provide direct funding to fire and EMS to provide the tools and resources to keep our members on the frontines when communities need them most during this COVID-19 pandemic.

April 23 See our Testing for COVID-19 Fact Sheet for important information about molecular and antibody testing.

April 22  Coping With Grief During COVID-19 is our new resource for grieving in this era of social distancing, including the inability to gather and mourn with loved ones, which can make it difficult for some to move forward.

April 21 – Read the IAFF’s latest guidance document on identifying counterfeit respirators, which are being falsely marketed and sold as NIOSH-approved.

April 20 Affiliate leaders from across the United States and Canada discuss how they’re using this toolkit to communicate to their members, the public, the media and elected officials about responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the latest episode of the The Kitchen Table.

April 17 – Protecting Your Finances in a Pandemic: IAFF members are on the frontlines, but some spouses may be out of work due to stay-at-home orders. If this is the case for your family and you are under financial stress, these are financial moves can you make right now.

April 16 – Beginning Monday, April 20, we will be offering online recovery meetings for members coping with or in recovery from an alcohol or substance use problem.

April 14 – Our latest episode of The Kitchen Table features four affiliate leaders from some of the states hit hardest by COVID-19 who share their experiences and discuss how they are addressing the challenges of keeping members safe while keeping up with changing protocols and guidelines.

April 13 EXERCISE AT HOME Unlimited options to meet your needs with limited-to-no equipment! New ideas posted every week.

April 12 – As feds play ‘backup,’ states take unorthodox steps to compete in cutthroat global market for coronavirus supplies

April 11 – Reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following our COVID-19 Best Practices: Social Distancing Guidelines for non-response work-related activities.

April 10 – See our updated guidance on surgical masks and cloth facemasks. While surgical masks are preferred as they provide more protection, cloth masks can be substituted at the station or at home. It is important to remember that facemasks are not worn to prevent exposure, but rather to limit the transmission of COVID-19 if an individual is asymptomatic.

April 9 – Watch our newest episode of the Kitchen Table addressing many of the health and safety issues affecting you on the frontlines during this COVID-19 pandemic, including preparation and personal protective equipment (PPE), exposure documentation, quarantine and protocols and guidelines.

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.

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.

Protection

  • 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
  • If your department has a limited supply and inventory of N95 respirators, exam gloves, protective eyewear and impervious gowns, the CDC has posted a PPE Strategy Burn Calculator spreadsheet to assist departments with tracking PPE usage for the next few weeks to assist with the logistics component of reordering PPE supplies for your members.
  • For more information about PPE, visit the resources tab.

Respirator Information

  • Counterfeit Respirators:
    • Counterfeit respirators are products that are falsely marketed and sold as NIOSH-approved respirators. The consequences are that many of these counterfeit respirators may not provide appropriate respiratory protection to workers.
    • For more information on counterfeit respirators, see the CDC guidance on Counterfeit Respirators/Misrepresentation of NIOSH-Approval
  • Respirator Assessment
    • The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) has completed international assessments for respirators that are not NIOSH approved. These assessments are not a part of the NIOSH respirator approval process and will in no way lead to or preclude NIOSH approval through the official approval process, but the list does identify the filtration efficiency. See list of reviewed products.
  • Extend the Lifetime of Respirators/Reuse Resources
    • How to Extend the Life of Respiratory Equipment
    • Decontaminating and Reusing Respirators
      • Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), vaporous hydrogen peroxide (VHP), and moist heat showed the most promise as potential methods to decontaminate filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs). Therefore, researchers, decontamination companies, healthcare systems or individual hospitals should focus current efforts on these technologies. Specifically, the effectiveness of using these methods should be explored further with specific FFR models based on the manufacturer’s support to better understand the impact on the respirator performance, including filtration and fit. The respirator manufacturer should be consulted about the impact of the method on its respirators before considering the use of any method. No current data exist to support the effectiveness of these decontamination methods specifically against SARS-CoV-2 on any FFRs. Other pathogens may also be present on FFRs and limited data only exist for other pathogens. Further work is needed to ensure SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens are inactivated. Therefore, even after decontamination, these FFRs should be handled carefully.

 Decontaminating Gear and Equipment

  • Dispose of disposable respirator, respirator filters, gloves and other disposable equipment/supplies used at the scene as bio-hazardous waste.
  • If the turnout gear or station uniform is visibly contaminated by bodily fluid, it should be placed in a biohazard bag at the scene and washed following prescribed laundry procedures. Chlorinated bleach shall not be used with any fire fighter protective clothing. Fire departments should follow the decontamination guidelines in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Structural Fire Fighting Protective Ensembles.
  • Non-disposable respirators shall be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • See the EPA’s list of Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-Cov-2, the Cause of COVID-19 as of March 3, 2020.
    • When looking up products on the EPA website, do not be concerned by the fact that the answer to the emerging viral pathogen claim questions is no. This is NOT a concern. Per the EPA, “All products on this list meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, including those marked as No in this column.” The emerging viral pathogen claim has to do with whether the virus is standard/old/well-known or emerging, not how hard it is to kill.
  • Find more information about infection control against COVID-19 here under the section Cleaning EMS Transport Vehicles After Transporting a PUI or Patient with Confirmed COVID-19.

Decontaminating the Ambulance and the Station

UV-C lights have been used for many years in ambulances for disinfection. It is important to note that this cannot be the ONLY means of disinfection. UV-C lights will disinfect surfaces (it is a surface technique and will not penetrate fabrics) on which there is direct access for the appropriate period of time (time is related to energy of the UV-C lamps). This affects surfaces that are at an angle to the lights or are shadowed by other surfaces. UV light disinfection appears to be effective against coronavirus. Efficacy, however, is highly variable and related to the placement of the lights, light intensity, contact times, surface type, etc.

The benefits of UV-C include effectiveness on flat surfaces at 90-degree angles (walls, floors, ceilings, etc.) and personnel are not required to enter the contamination zone. The limitations are that the power decreases over distance (light must be close enough to surface) and if the surfaces are not flat, it may not decontaminate the shadowed areas.

You must perform an appropriate decontamination before using UV-C light. These steps include:

  1. If the material to be decontaminated is considered airborne, all doors to the ambulance should be left open to allow for any airborne particles to settle or exhaust. The time required for one complete air exchange in a standard size ambulance using passive ventilation (low wind conditions) is approximately 10 minutes or six air changes per hour (ACH). This correlates to 90% efficiency in 23 minutes, 99% efficiency in 46 minutes and 99.9% efficiency in 69 minutes.
  2. Clean all soiled surfaces.
  3. Disinfect contaminated surfaces with a chemical disinfectant (preferably applied using an electrostatic sprayer for complete coverage).
  4. Follow up with UV-C disinfection, if desired, prior to returning to service.

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

Preparation


How to Request PPE Supplies

This information will help inform the allocation of state and federal PPE resources. Please understand that your request is important and is being considered seriously in the context of similar requests from your peers. The shortage of PPE will continue to be a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the appropriate process for requesting supplies is critical to ensuring you are able to receive needed PPE supplies.

  1. Requests for reordering of PPE should be made through the normal request process. Due to shortages, the entire order may not be able to be filled.
  2. To request additional PPE supplies from state or federal resources for unmet needs, you must submit requests through your established local emergency management structure. Depending on the state, your request may be processed through the emergency management chain or through the public health chain to state-level emergency management. From the state level, it will be transmitted to FEMA.
  3. When submitting a request, please include the following information:
    • Agency
    • Specific material and quantity request
    • Detailed risk/exposure justification for the request
    • Current on-hand requested supplies
    • Burn rate of current supplies – to provide estimate of time remaining for current supply
    • Other information pertinent to the request
    • Alternatives that are available, if any, and risks associated with pending gaps (for information regarding PPE alternatives and optimization strategies, click here.)

 IAFF Department Guidance Documents


Potential Exposure


Dispatch Protocols

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.
  • Dispatch questions related to COVID-19 should be asked for all emergencies (Police, Fire, EMS)
  • Development of modified caller 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 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States

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 Testing Information

Until an effective vaccine is available, testing for COVID-19 can help slow the spread of the disease. The two main methods are testing for the molecular presence of the disease or testing for antibodies to the disease. Molecular tests are more capable of informing whether you have active virus, while serological tests inform whether you have been exposed to or have some level of immunity to the virus.

More research is necessary to determine the accuracy of serologic test results for COVID-19 and how to best use this technology to slow or stop the spread of this disease. The IAFF supports the recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that results from antibody testing alone should not be used to diagnose or exclude COVID-19 infection or to inform infection status.

Currently, the IAFF advises against the use of serologic testing alone as the basis of return-to-work decisions. Rather, such determinations should be through an evaluation by a healthcare provider.

Download a printable version of the IAFF guidance on testing.

For more information on guidelines for COVID-19 antibody testing, see the CDC’s antibody testing interim guidance document.


Testing Protocol:

Call your healthcare professional if:

  • You feel sick with fever or chills, cough,  shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or new loss of taste or smell. According to the CDC, other COVID-19 symptoms include muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. You should call your healthcare professional if you have these beyond what is normal for you (e.g., a runny nose is common with seasonal allergies).
  • 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 may be limited to individuals showing symptoms, but this varies based on test availability. Personnel should expect COVID-19 test results 24-48 hours post testing, but this too will vary based on testing capabilities.


Testing in Skilled Nursing Homes

Some states are starting to require fire fighters to assist with performing testing on residents in skilled nursing homes. These are hot zones and often the tasks are out of the scope of individuals’ training or practice. This testing guidance on best practices includes how to safely perform testing for both the nursing home residents and fire fighters.

The San Antonio Fire Department has developed training videos to assist in creating guidelines for designing and safely performing testing at skilled nursing homes and large-scale testing:


SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), as well as some common colds. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The serologic tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are used to identify SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid to determine if individuals have COVID-19.


Laboratory Testing

Infectious disease testing related to the COVID-19 disease:

MolecularSerologic
Detects for the presence of…the genetic material (RNA) of the virus. Any viral nucleic acid present in the patient’s sample is amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)host antibodies against viral antigens (an immune response)
Suitable Samplesnasopharyngeal swabs, oropharyngeal swabs, expectorated sputum, salivablood via finger prick

The FDA has authorized that serologic testing is limited to laboratories and licensed healthcare providers at the point of care.


Detection of Viral RNA

Tests that detect viral RNA levels can identify current infections and suggest infectivity and transmission risk for others. Currently, the most widely used RNA test on the market is the Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), a real-time test (turnaround time from 15 minutes to several days) for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasal, nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs) collected from individuals suspected of COVID-19. Negative results do not mean there is no COVID-19 infection and should not be used as the sole basis for patient management decisions.

Multiple studies have identified false negative results on initial PCR tests, but it’s not clear why this happens. Reasons may include stage of illness, lower amounts of virus in certain anatomic sites and in certain patients, and suboptimal sample collection methods. Overall, the FDA has asserted that FDA-authorized nucleic acid amplification tests for COVID-19 meeting emergency use authorization criteria are highly reliable. Thus, these tests are currently the gold standard. However, these tests are not at a level of production that is close to meeting national needs.


Detection of Host Immune Response

Tests that identify host immune response are referred to as serological tests and are intended to be administered as simple blood tests. These tests can indicate whether an individual has been previously exposed to COVID-19. Antibody test results are important in detecting infections in individuals with few or no symptoms and have been used in conjunction with RT-PCR results in establishing a diagnosis or exclusion of COVID-19 infection. IgM and IgG are the two major antibodies assessed by serologic testing.

  1. IgM antibodies typically appear earlier within the course of infection – within days to about one week after the onset of symptoms. The antibodies can persist for a week to a few months.
  2. IgG antibodies develop later in the course of infection, typically appearing in the bloodstream around two weeks after infection and may last for months to several years.

Those with IgM antibodies are likely in an early stage of infection, even if they don’t have any symptoms. Ideally, fire fighters with these markers should highly consider undergoing quarantine plus a reflex PCR test to confirm infectivity.


Emergency Use Authorization

During public health emergencies declared under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, the FDA is able to issue Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) when certain criteria are met that allows for the use and distribution of potentially life-saving medical products to diagnose, treat, or prevent the disease, which can include diagnostic tests. EUAs are a shortcut in the FDA approval process that allows products to be used that have not gone through the full FDA approval process which sometimes can take years.

According to the FDA, there are currently no FDA-approved or cleared test to diagnose or detect COVID-19. Therefore, the FDA has issued several Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for the use of new diagnostic tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

Review the list of EUA approved tests.

The FDA has also evaluated the performances of the EUA Serologic Test. The performance of these tests is described by their “sensitivity,” or their ability to identify those with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (true positive rate), and their “specificity,” or their ability to identify those without antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (true negative rate). View the results.

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.


IAFF Guidance Documents


Testing


Decontamination


Preparation and PPE Protection


Exercise, Nutrition and Resilience 


Agency Sites


Tracking


Canadian Resources


Videos

The Kitchen Table: Leaders on the Frontline

First on the Frontlines

A Public Safety Message From IAFF Members

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

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

More Than Fires: Keeping Communities Safe During COVID-19

IAFF Kitchen Table: COVID-19 Health and Safety Update

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

Awareness and Precautions PSA

IAFF Guidance on Behavioral Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Free Telemental Health Services

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.


IAFF Online Recovery Meetings

IAFF online recovery meetings are for members coping with or in recovery from an alcohol or substance use problem. These peer-led meetings are intended to provide a supportive space for individuals to share their experience, strength and hope with other brothers and sisters interested in recovery. Online recovery meetings are an inclusive space that embrace multiple pathways to recovery, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), SMART recovery, harm reduction and medication assisted treatment.

Peer connection plays an essential role in supporting recovery from addiction and overall behavioral health. Online meetings provide an alternative to in-person meetings and offer support, accountability and connection to other members who want to live without alcohol or drugs.

Learn More

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

General Information

1. What is SARS-CoV-2?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that humans and animals can get. The three types of coronavirus’s 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 causes the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Reports that identify SARS-CoV-2 can also be applied to COVID-19.

2. 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 of N95 (or higher) respirators 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.

3. How many days is the CDC currently requiring quarantine and/or isolation 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 negative shall remain in quarantine until their 14 days are completed.

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).

OR

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 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

4. 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.

5. 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?

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? (NEW)

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.

While there is no approved treatment for COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir, previously used to treat Ebola, for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 individuals, primarily those hospitalized with severe symptoms. While there is limited information known about the safety and effectiveness of this treatment option, the investigational drug was shown in a clinical trial to shorten the recovery time in some patients from 15 days to 11 days. For the latest updates on COVID-19 treatment, the National Institute of Health (NIH) provides updates on treatment, testing and therapy.

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/eye protection 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 solution (not expired product with sodium hypochlorite concentration of 5%-6% or create your own bleach solution with 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of room temperature water), 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
  • Wear a surgical mask or a cloth mask when at the station and at home

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?

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. Is it true a symptom of being positive with COVID-19 is possibly losing sense of smell or taste?

One of the first symptoms of COVID-19 may be the loss of smell or taste, which has recently been added to the list of symptoms according to the CDC. There is rapidly accumulating anecdotal evidence that anosmia (loss of smell) – possibly associated with dysgeusia (inability to taste) – is a frequently reported symptom of COVID-19. Reports are surfacing from multiple countries around the world, including the United States.

11. Is it safe to use a CPAP if I don’t have symptoms of the coronavirus?

Due to the fear of asymptomatic transmission, if you don’t have symptoms of the coronavirus, you may want to sleep and use a CPAP in a separate bedroom during this public health emergency. Members should maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times to include beds in bunkrooms (if possible and feasible). This advice is consistent with the recommendation of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

For individual concerns, consult the physician who handles your CPAP.

12. What is a vulnerable population and what guidance should members who fall into a vulnerable population follow?

Vulnerable population for COVID-19 is defined as above the age of 65 or people with other comorbidities, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, renal disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Most of the documented critical cases and deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in the vulnerable population.

Guidance:

  • Any member over the age of 65 or who has any of the comorbidities above should be moved to an administrative position or a frontline position that minimizes the member’s exposure to confirmed or persons under investigation for COVID-19 patient.
  • If the member is to remain on the frontline, this member should strictly adhere to social distancing, wear eye protection and a N95 mask in place of a surgical or cloth mask while on calls, in the station or in the public.
  • If this member tests positive for IgM antibodies from serological testing or positive through a PCR test, this member should be placed in isolation and begin monitoring for symptoms (including pulse oximetry monitoring and temperature checks as least twice daily). If the member’s temperature should rise above 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius), the healthcare provider should be contacted. If shortness of breath develops, the member should seek immediate medical attention. More Information

13. Can pulse oximetry identify COVID-19 patients earlier? (NEW)

Early detection of COVID-19 symptoms can also assist with treatment interventions. The majority of COVID-19 patients experience mild shortness of breath and do not seek or receive any treatment, but for some it does progress into critical cases. Identifying the oxygen saturation levels of the blood could identify patients earlier; this can be done using a pulse oximeter. Early detection of low pulse oximetry has been an indicator for severe respiratory distress and failure, prompting immediate intervention before needing to be placed in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator. The device does not detect COVID-19, just associated symptoms. According to the NIH’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines, a pulse oximetry reading of 94% – along with other symptoms – separates patients into moderate or severe illness categories.

PPE Information

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

N95 respirators are the most commonly used respirator in healthcare. COVID-19 virus particles range in size from 60 to 140 nm.(Zhu) NIOSH requires that N95 respirators be capable of removing at least 95 percent of 0.3-micron (300 nm) particles. Past research has shown that N95 respirators successfully filter out 95% of particles in the size range of the virus that causes COVID-19. (Rengasamy) Therefore, N95 respirators are suitable protection devices for the COVID-19 response. The same research indicated that NIOSH P100 filter out an even higher percentage of particles in this size range.

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

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

NIOSH has tested a number of expired N95 respirators to determine if they can be used during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most models performed adequately and are safe to use in the field for protection against the COVID-19 virus. However, certain Kimberly Clark models “may not provide the expected level of protection to the wearer when past their manufacturer-designated shelf life of 5 years.” The tested models and results are listed here. Prior to using, be sure to inspect the mask thoroughly for any discoloration and ensure the integrity of the straps.

3. 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; however, adding a face shield may help protect the respirators from contamination.

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.

More information on how to extend the life of a N95 respirator can be found here.

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

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.

5. Will a cloth facemask provide enough protection?

Not all facemasks, and not all materials, are created equally. Wearing a cloth mask with standard fabrics will potentially minimize viral load inhaled by only 10 percent total, compared to minimizing the viral load by 95 percent when using a N95. While on the job, wearing a cloth mask is potentially more dangerous than just trying to remain at least 6 feet from any potentially contagious people. When at the station or at home it is important to note that these masks are effective methods to prevent transmitting the virus if you are asymptomatic.

Benefits of cloth facemasks:

  1. If we reach our Level 3 of this pandemic in regards to PPE (no supplies exist), then the CDC guidance is clear that the cloth masks could 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 will just allow us to wear them longer. If masks are made, they should be made from body-fluid resistant materials such as Gore-Tex that allow breathability while also allowing a sense of fluid resistance.
  2. Cloth facemasks do not protect the wearer, but they protect those around the wearer from contracting the virus if the wearer is asymptomatic or has mild symptoms. Surgical masks are preferred as they provide some protection for the wearer, but if supply is low, cloth masks can be substituted when at the station or at home.

Cautions with using cloth facemasks while on the job:

  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 (5% of particles penetrate), a cotton T-shirt material would allow 90% of particles through (via penetration).
  3. Finally, there is no way to create a tight fit for the cloth masks. Therefore, we should expect that greater than 90% of particles will get through via a combination of penetration through the material and movement around the material.

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.

2. What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19? (NEW)

MIS-C has been identified in previously healthy children younger than 21, but typically in children ages 2-17 years old who have or had COVID-19. Originally, this severe inflammatory syndrome was thought to be Kawasaki disease.

MIS-C patients present with a persistent fever and a variety of symptoms, including hypotension, multiorgan (e.g., cardiac, gastrointestinal, renal, hematologic, dermatologic and neurologic) involvement, and elevated inflammatory markers. Respiratory symptoms were not present in all cases. Identifiers include:

  • An individual aged <21 years presenting with fever (>100.4°F or >38.0°C for ≥24 hours, or report of subjective fever lasting ≥24 hours), laboratory evidence of inflammation and evidence of clinically severe illness requiring hospitalization with multisystem (>2) organ involvement (cardiac, renal, respiratory, hematologic, gastrointestinal, dermatologic or neurological); AND
  • Positive for current or recent SARS-CoV-2 infection by RT-PCR, serology or antigen test, or COVID-19 exposure within the four weeks prior to the onset of symptoms

There is limited information currently available about risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical course and treatment for MIS-C. The CDC is requesting healthcare providers report suspected cases to public health authorities to better characterize this newly recognized condition in the pediatric population. More Information

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 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.

3. 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. If you go home, the IAFF does recommend wearing a surgical mask or a cloth mask to prevent possible transmission if asymptomatic.

Foire aux questions (FAQ) pour la 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. Qu’est-ce que le SRAS-CoV-2?

La famille des coronavirus comprend des virus que les humains et les animaux peuvent attraper. 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 causant la maladie du coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Les rapports identifiant des cas de SRAS-CoV-2 peuvent également être appliqués à la COVID-19.

 

  1. Où puis-je obtenir des renseignements sur la 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 en maques respiratoires N-95 (ou plus élevé) est faible. Veuillez jeter un coup d’œil à notre lettre au secrétaire du Département de la Santé et des Services sociaux des États-Unis, M. Azar : (lien vers la lettre).

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 et/ou l’isolement du personnel exposé à un patient confirmé comme étant atteint de la 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 ayant été testés comme négatifs doivent rester en quarantaine jusqu’à la fin de leurs 14 jours.

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 la 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).

OU

Rester en isolement jusqu’à :

  • 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 10 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 de la 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 de la COVID-19 ou où ils seront en isolement s’ils ont obtenu un résultat positif au test de dépistage de la 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 de la 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. Mon service d’incendie dispose d’un approvisionnement et d’un inventaire limités de masques respiratoires N-95, 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 prévoir l’utilisation d’ÉPI pour les jours et les semaines à venir?

Les CDC ont récemment 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 vos membres. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/burn-calculator.html

 

 

 

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 de la 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 de la COVID-19.

 

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

Selon les CDC, aucun traitement antiviral spécifique n’est recommandé pour la COVID-19. Les membres étant atteints de la 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.

Bien qu’il n’y ait pas de traitement approuvé pour la COVID-19, le Secrétariat américain aux produits alimentaires et pharmaceutiques (FDA) a émis une autorisation aux fins d’urgence médicale (EUA) pour un médicament antiviral expérimental, Remdesivir, utilisé auparavant pour traiter Ebola, pour le traitement d’individus suspectés ou confirmés en laboratoire comme ayant contracté la COVID-19, principalement ceux hospitalisés avec des symptômes graves. Bien qu’il y ait peu de renseignements sur la sécurité et l’efficacité de cette option de traitement, le médicament expérimental a montré dans des essais cliniques qu’il pouvait réduire le temps de récupération chez certains patients de 15 à 11 jours. Pour les dernières mises à jour sur le traitement de la COVID-19, le fournit des mises à jour sur le traitement, les tests et la thérapie.

 

  1. Que se passe-t-il si je deviens symptomatique de certains des signes de la 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 la 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 à la COVID-19?

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 de la COVID-19, durant laquelle ni le patient ni le premier intervenant ne portaient de masque/de protection oculaire 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 de la 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 la COVID-19 peut-elle vivre à l’extérieur du corps sur les surfaces?

Comme la 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 (produit non périmé avec une concentration d’hypochlorite de sodium entre 6 et 7 % ou créez votre propre solution javellisée avec 5 cuillérées à table [75 ml] de javel par 3,7 L d’eau [1 gallon] à température ambiante), 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 à la 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;
  • porter un masque chirurgical ou un masque fait à la main à la caserne de pompiers et à la maison.

 

  1. L’ibuprofène aggrave-t-il les symptômes de la COVID-19?

À l’heure actuelle, il n’existe aucune preuve scientifique établissant un lien entre l’ibuprofène et l’aggravation des symptômes de la 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 de la 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?

Selon les CDC, la fièvre est actuellement définie comme une « température mesurée >37,7 °C ou 100,00 o F ou fièvre subjective » en vertu de la section « III. Recommandations pour la surveillance fondée sur le risque d’exposition à la COVID-19 » (en anglais seulement) disponible sur le site Web suivant : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html

Le seuil de température recommandé par l’AIP est une température supérieure à 37,7 o C ou 99,9 o F, en raison de nos 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 pour protéger ces groupes en nous fondant sur les recommandations du consultant de l’AIP, le Dr Allan Morrison.

 

 

  1. Est-il vrai que le fait d’être atteint de la COVID-19 peut entraîner une perte d’odorat ou de goût?

L’un des premiers symptômes de la COVID-19 peut être la perte de l’odorat ou du goût, et a récemment été ajouté à la liste des symptômes selon les CDC. Il y a rapidement eu des preuves anecdotiques que l’anosmie (perte d’odorat), possiblement associée à la dysgueusie (incapacité de goûter), est un symptôme fréquemment signalé de la COVID-19. Des rapports font surface dans de nombreux pays y compris aux États-Unis.

 

 

  1. Est-il sécuritaire d’utiliser un appareil de ventilation spontanée en pression positive continue (CPAP) si je n’ai pas de symptômes du coronavirus?

En raison de la peur de la transmission asymptomatique, si vous n’avez pas de symptômes du coronavirus, il sera peut-être avisé de dormir et d’utiliser un appareil CPAP dans une chambre à coucher séparée pendant cette urgence de santé publique. Les membres doivent essayer de maintenir une distance sociale d’au moins 2 mètres (6 pieds) en tout temps, même lorsqu’ils sont dans des lits de dortoirs (si possible et si réalisable). Ces conseils sont alignés avec les recommandations de l’American Academy of Sleep Medicine (https://aasm.org/coronavirus-covid-19-faqs-cpap-sleep-apnea-patients/)

Pour les préoccupations individuelles, veuillez consulter votre médecin s’occupant du suivi de votre utilisation de l’appareil CPAP.

 

  1. Qu’est-ce qu’une population vulnérable, et que devrais-je faire si moi ou un membre tombe dans cette catégorie?

Une population vulnérable pour la COVID-19 est définie comme ayant plus de 65 ans ou des personnes avec des comorbidités, comme l’obésité, l’hypertension, le diabète, une maladie cardiovasculaire, une maladie cérébrovasculaire, une maladie rénale et une bronchopneumopathie chronique obstructive (BPCO). La plupart des cas critiques et des décès documentés de la COVID-19 sont de la population vulnérable.

Conseils :

  • Tout membre de plus de 65 ans ou ayant l’une des comorbidités ci-dessus devrait être mis à un poste administratif ou dans un poste de première ligne qui réduirait au minimum l’exposition aux patients confirmés ou étant sous enquête comme ayant la COVID-19.
  • Si le membre doit rester en première ligne, ce membre doit adhérer strictement aux règles de distanciation physique, porter des protecteurs oculaires et un masque N-95 au lieu d’un masque chirurgical ou en tissu lors d’interventions, à la caserne ou en public.
  • Si ce membre est testé positif avec des anticorps IgM d’un dépistage sérologique ou d’un test PCR, le membre doit être placé en isolation et commencer à établir une surveillance des symptômes, y compris une surveillance par sphygmo-oxymètre et des vérifications de température au moins deux fois par jour. Si la température du membre dépasse 37,7 °C (99,9 °F) le fournisseur de soins doit être contacté. Si un essoufflement venait à survenir, le membre doit immédiatement solliciter des soins médicaux.   Pour plus de renseignements – https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/overview/management-of-covid-19/.

 

  1. L’oxymétrie du pouls peut-elle identifier les patients atteints de COVID-19 plus tôt? (NOUVEAU)

Une détection précoce des symptômes de la COVID-19 peut aussi aider avec les interventions de traitement. La majorité des patients atteints de COVID-19 ont ressenti un léger essoufflement et n’ont pas cherché à solliciter ou à recevoir un traitement, mais pour certains cela peut évoluer en cas critiques. Identifier les niveaux de saturation en oxygène dans le sang peut aider à identifier les patients plus tôt, et cela peut se faire grâce à l’utilisation d’un sphygmo-oxymètre. Une détection précoce par sphygmo-oxymètre avec un pouls lent a été un indicateur d’insuffisance et d’arrêt respiratoire grave demandant une intervention immédiate avant qu’il y ait un besoin de mettre le patient dans une unité de soins intensifs et sur respirateur. L’appareil ne détecte pas la COVID-19, mais les symptômes associés. Selon les Lignes directrices sur la COVID-19 du NIH, si on lit 94 % sur le sphygmo-oxymètre avec d’autres symptômes il est possible de séparer les patients entre des catégories de maladie allant de modérée à grave.

Renseignements sur l’équipement de protection individuelle (ÉPI)

  1. Un masque respiratoire N-95 me protégera-t-il contre la COVID-19?

Les masques respiratoires N-95 sont les plus couramment utilisés dans les soins de santé. Les particules du virus varient en taille de 60 à 140 nm. (Zhu) Le NIOSH exige que les masques respiratoires N-95 puissent éliminer au moins 95 % des particules de 0,3 micron (300 nm). Des recherches antécédentes ont révélé que les masques respiratoires N-95 filtrent 95 % des particules dans la fourchette de tailles du virus causant la COVID-19. (Rengasamy) Donc, les masques respiratoires N-95 sont adéquats pour une intervention face à la COVID-19. Les mêmes recherches indiquent que les filtres P100 du NIOSH filtrent encore plus de particules de cette fourchette de tailles.

 

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

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. Lorsque les stocks et les caches de masques respiratoires N-95 expirés seront mis à ma disposition, ces masques respiratoires expirés me protégeront-ils contre le virus COVID-19?

Le NIOSH a effectué des tests sur des masques respiratoires N-95 périmés afin de déterminer s’ils pouvaient être réutilisés durant la pandémie de COVID-19. La plupart des modèles ont bien résisté et sont sécuritaires pour une utilisation sur le terrain afin de protéger contre le virus COVID-19. Cependant, certains modèles Kimberly Clark « pourraient ne pas fournir le niveau de protection attendu pour le porteur s’ils ont dépassé leur durée de vie prévue de 5 ans ». Les modèles ayant été testés ainsi que les résultats sont listés ici : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/release-stockpiled-N-95.html. Avant de l’utiliser, assurez-vous que le masque ne présente aucune décoloration et assurez-vous de l’intégrité des sangles.

 

  1. En raison des ressources limitées en ÉPI, comment puis-je entreposer mon masque N-95 à condition qu’il ne soit pas contaminé?

Nous recommandons de placer le masque N-95 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 N-95 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. L’utilisation d’un écran facial en supplément pourrait aider à protéger les masques respiratoires contre la contamination.

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.

Pour en savoir plus sur la façon de prolonger la durée d’utilisation d’un masque respiratoire N-95, consultez le lien suivant (en anglais seulement) : https://www.iaff.org/wp-content/uploads/How-to-extend-the-life-of-Respiratory-Equipment-Flyer-1.pdf.

 

  1. Combien de fois un masque N-95 peut-il être utilisé après la première utilisation s’il y a une pénurie de masques?

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 des recherches sur des sites), 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 N-95 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 N-95 pour de multiples interventions avec des patients, mais à le retirer (l’enlever) après chaque intervention. Le masque respiratoire est entreposé entre les interventions et 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) : https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/recommendedguidanceextuse.html.

 

  1. Un masque fait maison assurera-t-il une protection suffisante?

Les masques et les matériaux ne sont pas tous créés de façon égale. Le port d’un masque artisanal fait de tissus standard peut potentiellement réduire la charge virale inhalée de seulement 10 % au total, comparativement à une réduction de la charge virale de 95 % lors de l’utilisation d’un masque respiratoire N-95. Au travail, le port d’un masque artisanal est potentiellement plus dangereux que le simple fait d’essayer de rester à au moins 2 mètres (6 pieds) de toute personne potentiellement contagieuse. Lorsque vous êtes à la caserne ou à la maison, il est important de noter que ces masques sont des méthodes efficaces pour empêcher la transmission du virus si vous êtes asymptomatique.

Avantages des masques artisanaux :

  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 en tissu artisanaux seraient utilisés comme couverture par-dessus les masques respiratoires N-95.  Cela signifie qu’ils seraient destinés à garder les masques respiratoires N-95 exempts de détritus, PAS exempts de particules virales.  Cela nous permettra simplement 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 tout en offrant un sentiment de résistance aux liquides!
  2. Les masques en tissu artisanaux ne protègent pas la personne qui les porte, mais ils protègent son entourage contre la transmission du virus si la personne qui le porte est asymptomatique ou présente des symptômes bénins. Les masques chirurgicaux sont préférables, car ils offrent une certaine protection à la personne qui les porte, mais si l’approvisionnement en masques chirurgicaux est bas, les masques artisanaux peuvent servir de remplacement à la caserne ou à la maison.

Mises en garde concernant l’utilisation de masques artisanaux en tissu pendant le travail :

  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 N-95 (5 % 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 devrait s’attendre à ce que plus de 90 % des particules puissent traverser par une combinaison de pénétration à travers le tissu et de mouvement autour du matériau.

 

Renseignements pour la famille

  1. Comment ma famille peut-elle recevoir de l’information sur la 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.

 

  1. Qu’est-ce que le Syndrome inflammatoire multisystémique pédiatrique (PMIS) associé avec la COVID-19? (NOUVEAU)

Le PMIS a été identifié chez des enfants précédemment en santé de moins de 21 ans mais est typiquement identifié chez des enfants de 2 à 17 ans ayant ou ayant eu la COVID-19. À l’origine on pensait que ce syndrome inflammatoire grave était la maladie de Kawasaki.

Les patients atteints de PMIS présentent une fièvre persistante et une variété de symptômes, notamment de l’hypotension, l’affection de plusieurs organes (p. ex. cardiaque, gastro-intestinal, rénal, hématologique, dermatologique et neurologique), et des marqueurs inflammatoires élevés. Les symptômes respiratoires n’étaient pas présents dans tous les cas. Voici les points d’identification :

  • Un individu âgé de moins de 21 ans avec une fièvre (sous 38 oC ou 100,4 oF pendant 24 heures ou plus, ou un rapport de fièvre subjective durant 24 heures ou plus), une preuve laboratoire d’inflammation et la preuve d’une maladie cliniquement grave nécessitant une hospitalisation avec l’affectation de plusieurs organes (plus de 2) (cardiaque, gastro-intestinal, rénal, hématologique, dermatologique et neurologique); ET
  • Positif pour une infection courante ou récente de SARS-CoV-2 par RT-PCR, sérologie ou test d’antigène, ou une exposition à la COVID-19 dans les quatre semaines avant l’apparition des symptômes

Il n’y a pas beaucoup de renseignements actuellement disponibles sur les facteurs de risques, la pathogénie, l’évolution clinique et le traitement du PMIS. Les CDC demandent que les prestataires de soins médicaux rapportent les cas suspectés aux autorités sanitaires afin de pouvoir mieux caractériser cette nouvelle condition reconnue dans la population pédiatrique. Pour plus de renseignements – https://www.cdc.gov/mis-c/.

 

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

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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 les problèmes 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 que certaines personnes ont présenté des symptômes gastro-intestinaux (maux d’estomacs, diarrhées, nausées) avant l’apparition des symptômes respiratoires.

 

  1. 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 possiblement 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. Si vous rentrez à la maison, l’AIP vous recommande de porter un masque chirurgical ou un masque en tissu pour prévenir la transmission, si vous êtes asymptomatique.

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. The main symptoms remain:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list is updated as the CDC learns more about COVID-19.


Protect Yourself and Others

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to this virus. Take steps to slow the spread.

Advisory: FDA Issues Warning About Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued a warning to consumers and healthcare providers regarding some hand sanitizer products labeled to contain ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, that have tested positive for methanol contamination. The FDA has compiled a list of hand sanitizers containing methanol.

Methanol is used as a feedstock to produce chemicals, such as acetic acid and formaldehyde, which in turn are used in products including adhesives, foams, plywood subfloors, solvents and windshield washer fluid. Thus, methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects. FDA’s investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or even death. Moreover, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk.


COVID-19 Transmission

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza.

  • 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, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these transmissions are not thought to be as common as person to person:

  • Touching surfaces or objects. It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose or possibly eyes. 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 70% 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.
  • Animals to people. At this time, the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low.
  • People to animals. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. The CDC is aware of a small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.

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

People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic. However, we now know that an asymptomatic person could be shedding a viral load (contagious) for up to 48 hours prior to becoming symptomatic.

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


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.

Members who experience a high-risk exposure (i.e., were not wearing appropriate PPE when exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 patient) shall be quarantined for 14 days. If the member develops symptoms during that time, then testing shall be conducted. If positive, the member is then moved to isolation. If negative, quarantine continues until 14 days are complete.

(Note: This toolkit is restricted to IAFF leadership)

To help affiliates prepare for and respond to potential pushes by their employers for cuts to staffing, training, resources, wages and benefits, retirement plans and healthcare coverage, we have developed a comprehensive toolkit of information and resources – as well as an overview of the broader economic impact on our members’ lives and livelihoods – as we continue to assist you during this challenging time.

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]