COVID 19 Coronavirus – Information/Resources/Practices

On March 13, 2020, U.S. President Donald J. Trump declared a National Emergency under the provisions of The National Emergencies Act (NEA) (Public Law 94–412, 90 Statute 1255, enacted September 14, 1976, codified at 50 United States Code § 1601–1651).  The declaration was made in response to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic caused by the COVID 19 strain.  One day earlier, on March 12, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a State of Emergency in response to this same threat.  While the best resources for information about the pandemic are the Federal government’s site for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (found below), first responders may benefit from the additional resources provided below as they update or create pandemic plans and adjust to operating and delivering services during this crisis.

This page has been developed to provide information, resources and best practices to Chiefs and First Responders to protect our personnel as best as they can.

The VSFA will be updating this page on a regular basis as new information becomes avaiable.

Websites with additional information


Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems

Virginia Department of Health



Resources for Fire Chiefs

The NVFC has also created a survey for volunteer and combination fire, EMS, and rescue agencies to report on the challenges they are facing related to COVID-19. The information gathered through the survey will be used to help inform discussions with policymakers going forward. Take the survey here.  COVID-19 Resources for EMS


FEMA Guidance on Continuity of Operations Plans for Influenza Pandemics.  Although not specific to the COVID virus, it has sound guidance that will apply.  Your AHJ will need to amend the triage, screening, and isolation criteria and protocols, as well as amend the treatment/intervention protocols.

Pandemic Influenza Continuity of Operations Annex Template Instructions.

Balancing the Risk – Strategies for Respiratory Protection During a Pandemic

Latest update from NFPA on Emergency Preparedness.

Table on the efficacy of disinfecting wipesPLEASE READ as not all wipes are created the same and some may damage expensive equipment like SCBAs, TICs, etc.

Basic DRAFTS of various NIMS forms.  These are shells only but provide the key elements that should be considered in the development of your Incident Action Plans.  It is crucial that organizations document their response efforts, including preparedness, operations, and demobilization (when that comes).  This provides a starting point.  The forms will lneed to be adapted to each locality.




  • ICS 213 RR COVID

  • ICS 215 COVID

  • FEMA-215a COVID MARCH2020
  • NEW 3-24-20 Updates

    Medical Self Monitoring form for use by agencies.

    Best Practices for Surface Disinfecting.

    Airway management adjustments in the era of COVID-19

    Preventing aerosol-generating procedures while treating prehospital COVID-19 patients




    Infection prevention and control of epidemic- and pandemic-prone acute respiratory infections in health care.


    4-1-2020 Update

    U.S. Fire Administration updates

    Information for First Responders on Maintaining Operational Capabilities During a Pandemic

    4-7-2020 Update

    The Bureau of Justice Assistance has released an update explaining how the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program treats conditions caused by infectious diseases like COVID-19. Learn more about what factors will be considering when evaluating applications related to the disease.


    4-11-2020 Update

    The NVFC is providing a weekly update to the fire and emergency services on news, resources, and relevant information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find additional resources on our COVID-19 webpage.

    Results from Week 3 of the NVFC Survey to Document Volunteer Emergency Services’ COVID-19 Experiences

    The NVFC is running an ongoing survey to better understand the experiences of volunteer and combination fire, EMS, and rescue departments dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19. We encourage you to take the survey here, and to retake it each week so that we can track changing challenges and needs. Click here to view the results of the survey from the past week.

    4-21-2020 Update

    CARES Act Funding: Work with Your State, Local Authorities

    Both the U.S. Treasury and FEMA recently announced funding to help state and local governments fund their COVID-19 response. Both funding opportunities, provided through the CARES Act (P.L. 116-136), require fire chiefs to work with their state and local authorities.

    1) U.S. Treasury Funding for State and Local Governments COVID-19 Response
    The U.S. Treasury announced a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for the state, local, territorial and tribal governments. The relief fund will only reimburse for expenses that:

    • Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
    • Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020, (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the state, local, territorial or tribal government.
    • Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.

    The Coronavirus Relief Fund will fund states, the District of Columbia, territories, and units of local government with populations exceeding 500,000. Here is a list of state allocations (pdf) and here is a list of eligible local jurisdictions (pdf).

    Eligible governments will have to submit their completed payment materials by 11:59 PM ET, Friday, April 17. The IAFC recommends that fire chiefs work with their local city and county government finance officials to apply for reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses.

    2) FEMA’s Special EMPG-S Program for COVID-19 Response
    FEMA announced a special $100 million FY 2020 Emergency Management Performance Grant Program – COVID-19 Supplemental (EMPG-S). This program will provide funds to state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management agencies to assist with preventing, preparing for, and responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. FEMA encourages funding to be used for:

    • Mitigation activities to slow the spread of COVID-19
    • Integration of emergency management and public health operations
    • Collection and display of public, private, and governmental data of hospital bed and ventilator capacity and usage
    • Collection and display of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inventories and establishment of burn rates to forecast future needs
    • Planning for alternate care sites
    • Identifying all sources to surge medical professionals

    EMPG-S funding can also be used to assist emergency managers with implementing community lifelines to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    All 56 states and territories are eligible for applying for the EMPG-S funds. However, only the State Administrative Agency or the State’s Emergency Management Agency can apply for the program. Only one application is allowed for each state or territory. There is a 50% cost-share for state, local, tribal and territorial governments. More information about this program can be found on the FEMA website.

    The IAFC recommends that fire chiefs contact their state emergency managers to coordinate on EMPG-S applications. Initial applications must be submitted at least one day prior to the April 28 deadline.

    COVID-19 Resources

    5-9-20 Update

    Goochland County Fire & Rescue Ambulance Decon Procedures

    This short video explains Goochland County Fire & Rescue ambulance decon process to the public.   This deep cleaning is above and beyond the normal cleaning processes which are still occurring.   Special thanks to Henrico Division of Fire who helped us develop this procedure.  In addition to normal cleaning and disinfection, “airing out” the ambulance also seems to do a lot to help with contamination.   Members are instructed to do the following after an actual or suspected COVID-19 patient transport, which also keeps the unit out of service for longer periods of time:   Allow EMS unit to “air out” 5-10 minutes to allow droplets to fall.  With natural air exchange rates, a 23-minute air out time reduces contamination by 90%. A 46-minute air exchange rate reduces contamination by 99%.  This process is just one of many that are being used by departments.  It is not a certified or proven process, just something Goochland is doing to the best of their ability, and as cleaning product availability allows.

    Watch Video

    Old Dominion EMS Alliance (ODEMSA) – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Interim Guidelines

    5-27-2020 Update

    COVID-19 Broadband Resources

    The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Virginian’s ability to work, access healthcare and education, and has magnified the digital divide more than ever before. The Commonwealth Connect team has launched this webpage to provide information about what both the federal government and Virginia’s ISPs are doing in response to the crisis. For the latest on Virginia’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit –

    Commonwealth Connect COVID-19 Resources


    6/20/2020 Update

    News Release: DHS S&T Develops DIY Method to Decontaminate Masks with a Multicooker


    Fiscal Impacts of the Pandemic and What Volunteer Fire, Rescue, and EMS Organizations Can Do

    Virginia has been in a State of Emergency since March 2020, and there is no end in sight.  The fire and emergency services, including emergency medical service providers across the Commonwealth have seen some significant fiscal impacts as a result.  Most volunteer organizations have lost the ability to execute their essential fundraising activities due to the requirements imposed by executive orders issued by Governor Ralph Northam, and many fire and rescue organizations are experiencing hardship.  Nonetheless, there are still 911 calls to be answered, and delivering emergency services costs money.  The Virginia State Firefighters Association has looked at the challenges of continuing emergency services delivery and impacts of lost fundraising mechanisms, and offers some ideas on how to cope.

    The VSFA has prepared this document to help organizations assess its financial risks and take the necessary steps to endure and recover from the pandemic.

    Fiscal Impacts of the Pandemic and What Volunteer Fire, Rescue, and EMS Organizations Can Do:
    Read Document Here


    Coronavirus Pandemic Whole-of-America Response: “By the Numbers” Update

    Below is the third of three “By the Numbers” updates, this week, for the Whole-of-America coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response underway. This “By the Numbers” update relates to Medical Supplies and Equipment; Testing; Federal Funding; and Additional Federal Support.

    Coronavirus Pandemic Whole-of-America Response: “By the Numbers” Update

    Contact Us

    If you have any questions regarding this FEMA Advisory, please contact FEMA Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division:

    11-23-2020 Update

    FEMA Advisory

    Coronavirus Pandemic Whole-of-America Response: FEMA Releases Vaccination Planning Frequently Asked Questions

    Successful implementation of a national COVID-19 vaccination program requires precise and close coordination across the Federal government, as well as state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) governments and among many public and private partners.

    In support of this effort, FEMA released yesterday the attached COVID-19 Pandemic: Vaccination Planning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). These FAQs, provided to State, Tribal, and Territorial officials, provide information on federal coordination support efforts, federal funding sources, FEMA Public Assistance eligibility for vaccination mission support activities, insurance considerations, Direct Federal Assistance, and resources for SLTT partners.

    Download : FEMA Advisory: Coronavirus Pandemic: FEMA Releases Vaccination Planning FAQs (November 20, 2020)

    Contact Us

    If you have any questions regarding this FEMA Advisory, please contact FEMA Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division:

    Follow Us

    Follow FEMA on social media at: FEMA Blog on, @FEMA or @FEMAEspanol on Twitter, FEMA or FEMA Espanol on Facebook, @FEMA on Instagram, and via FEMA YouTube channel.

    Also, follow Administrator Pete Gaynor on Twitter @FEMA_Pete.

    FEMA Mission

    Helping people before, during, and after disasters.









    January 13, 2021 Update

    FEMA Supporting COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

    FEMA is supporting state, local, tribal and territorial governments in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by reimbursing eligible expenses incurred in providing the COVID-19 vaccine to the public.

    COVID-19 vaccines have been purchased and are being distributed by Operation Warp Speed at no cost to enrolled COVID-19 vaccine providers. Operation Warp Speed is also providing vaccination kits, including needles, syringes, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the safe administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

    As part of the unprecedented effort to support the protection of public health and end the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA will support eligible state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and private nonprofit (PNP) facilities with the distribution, transportation, storage, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to: PPE, other equipment, and supplies required for storing, handling, distributing/transporting, and administering COVID-19 vaccines; facility support costs, including leasing space for storage and/or administration of vaccines, utilities, maintenance, and security; medical and support staff not paid for by another funding source; information technology systems and support; communications to disseminate public information regarding vaccinations; and training and technical assistance for vaccine distribution and administration. FEMA will continue to consider additional costs incurred by eligible entities to expedite vaccinations across the country.

    Funding to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in vaccinating their residents is in addition to the $56.6 billion FEMA has previously allocated in the fight against COVID-19.

    Download FEMA Advisory

    Contact Us

    If you have any questions, please contact Office of External Affairs:

    Follow Us

    Follow FEMA on social media at: FEMA Blog on, @FEMA or @FEMAEspanol on Twitter, FEMA or FEMA Espanol on Facebook, @FEMA on Instagram, and via FEMA YouTube channel.


    Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

    March 24, 2021 Update

    News Release
    FEMA to Help Pay Funeral Costs for COVID-19-Related Deaths
    WASHINGTON — In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The policy was finalized today, and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.

    “At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate.”

    To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the policy states:

    • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
    • If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.
    • An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
    • The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
    • This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.
    • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

    In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering the following documentation:

    • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
    • Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses and dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
    • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs.  Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.

    For more information about this assistance, visit COVID-19 Funeral Assistance |


    Aptil 12-2021 Update

    FEMA Advisory

    FEMA COVID-19 Update: Funeral Assistance

    Today, FEMA begins processing applications for funeral assistance. FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

    Key Messages

    • FEMA has never delivered funeral assistance on this scale before, so we took time to develop and streamline the processes and tools to make this assistance efficient and effective for everyone.
    • The call center has received thousands of calls this morning, which is causing some technical issues. Some applicants are reaching operators, while others are receiving a busy signal.
    • We ask that applicants be patient as we work to correct these issues and have all their important documents ready when they call to apply. Please know there is no deadline to apply and applicants will have the ability to open a case.
    • We will not rush through calls because we intend to make sure that every applicant gets their questions answered and receives the help they need to apply.
    • Applicants may apply by calling 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Multilingual services are available.
    • To be eligible for funeral assistance, applicants must meet these conditions:
      • The death must have occurred in the United States. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020.
      • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
      • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
    • For fastest service after you have called to apply, submit documentation online through, or by fax 855-261-3452. Documents may also be mailed to: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance P.O. Box 10001 Hyattsville, MD 20782.
    • Applicants can also visit Information is provided in several languages both by telephone and the website.

    Contact Us

    If you have any questions, please contact Office of External Affairs:

    Follow Us

    Follow FEMA on social media at: FEMA Blog on, @FEMA or @FEMAEspanol on Twitter, FEMA or FEMA Espanol on Facebook, @FEMA on Instagram, and via FEMA YouTube channel.

    Also, follow Acting Administrator Bob Fenton on Twitter @FEMA_Fenton.

    FEMA Mission

    Helping people before, during, and after disasters.