Healthy Communities

COVID-19 Guidance for EMS

Guidance for Emergency Service providers, first responders, law enforcement and 911 operators

This guidance is to provide information about preparations for people who may have been exposed to this new virus so that emergency personnel can keep themselves safe.

Persons Being Monitored Due to Possible Exposure

The people being monitored due to their possible exposure to this novel coronavirus do NOT have a confirmed infection and are asymptomatic. However, they might become symptomatic, and precautions are recommended for those who must have contact with them. Any emergency personnel encountering such a person should use the following precautions:

In preparation for home monitoring of returning travelers, national guidance has been that travelers returning from countries with sustained community spread COVID-19 cases (CDC’s travel warning levels 2 or 3) remain at home in self-quarantine for 14 days after they leave that country. Those on self quarantine have been advised that if they need to call Emergency Services or 911, it is very important that the person inform the 911 operator and any personnel they encounter that they are being monitored due to possible exposure to novel coronavirus. This person will have been told that they need to wear a mask before they encounter anyone. We also tell them that they should announce to the EMS providers before getting in close contact that the all EMS providers should be wearing gloves, gown, mask, and goggles prior to any contact.

It is very important that everyone in the chain of notification, from the 911 operator who receives the call to the Emergency Services crew that will be attending to the patient be notified AND pass along the information that this is a person who is being monitored for possible exposure to novel coronavirus and what precautions to take.

CDC Guidance

See CDC’s full EMS guidance here. For a reference of all country locations with confirmed COVID-19 cases, click here.  

All first responders should contact and work with their local EMS agencies on their plan to treat and transport individuals being monitored for possible exposure to novel coronavirus. All 911 operators should review and implement the Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States. Learn more by clicking here.  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Reference here

Travel Health Notices Listed by Warning Levels here.

Additional Resources



Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
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4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867