The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to enable emergency use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel. To date, this test has been limited to use at CDC laboratories; but this authorization allows the use of the test at any CDC-qualified lab across the country.
To protect the American people from exposure to the coronavirus, the Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad F. Wolf issued instructions and directed all flights from China, and all passengers who have traveled to China within the last 14 days, to be routed through one of eleven U.S. airports. At these eleven airports, the United States Government has established enhanced screening procedures and the capacity to quarantine passengers, if needed.
Public safety and emergency management agencies need fast, reliable data to help them make the best possible decisions. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Information Sharing Assessment Tool (ISAT) is a web-based self-assessment tool that helps public safety agencies understand their current information sharing capabilities and gaps.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate announced the selection of the University of Nebraska Omaha to lead a consortium of U.S. academic institutions and other partners for a new Center of Excellence for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced critical actions to advance development of novel coronavirus medical countermeasures. As with any emerging public health threat, the FDA will collaborate with interagency partners, product developers, international partners and global regulators to expedite the development and availability of medical products needed to diagnose, treat, mitigate and prevent such outbreaks.
The Event 201 pandemic exercise, conducted on October 18, 2019, demonstrated a number of important gaps in pandemic preparedness as well as some of the elements of the solutions between the public and private sectors that will be needed to fill them. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have proposed seven recommendations.
The elderly are particularly vulnerable to disasters given the increased likelihood of having physical or mental health conditions or being socially isolated due to a lack of a support network. It is important for counties to assess the needs of and have plans in place to assist their elderly populations in the event of a disaster.
Many studies have shown that firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) responders have a high likelihood of experiencing an assault since they respond to calls in varied locations, often paired with only one or two colleagues. Researchers on the Stress and Violence to Fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER) study found many improvements organizations can make to mitigate the risk and impact of assaults on their responders.
The updated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training is now available. It features a revised Disaster Medical Operations section, updated Terrorism and CERT section, and new hazard-specific annexes. Find the new curriculum materials online and order free copies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency publications warehouse.