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Michigan suspends EMS licensing, regulation requirements during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Suspension is temporary

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LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order on Tuesday that temporarily suspends licensing and regulation of emergency medical services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services will not be required to conduct annual random inspections of life support vehicles or annual inspections of life support agencies.

These will only be inspected if the department has reason to believe they are out of compliance.

Staffing and licensing requirements for ambulances have also been reduced.

Additionally, the expiration dates of all emergency medical services personnel licenses and professional certifications in basic cardiac life support will be extended.

The order also allows the transport of a patient, in emergency or non-emergency situations, to any destination designated by the medical control authority or other regulatory authority, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or the local health department.

“Our paramedics are on the front lines every day helping us mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, and we must do everything we can to help them do their jobs efficiently and effectively,” Whitmer said. “Given the rapid increase in Michiganders who require emergency medical treatment and the scarcity of medical supplies and PPE (personal protection equipment), it’s important that we give emergency medical services the ability to respond flexibly to these new challenges.”

MORE: What the CDC says you should do if you believe you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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