N95 Respiratory Fit Testing Train-the-Trainer Course

The Virginia Department of Health announces upcoming Train-the-Trainer Courses for N95 Respiratory Fit Testing .  Please see the picture and download the flyer for additional information.

N95 Fit Test Training Course flyer rev32

  Download the Training Flyer by Clicking Here

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Virginia EMS Initial Certification Process Changes During COVID-19

In response to the Governor's Executive Orders 51, 53, & 55, the Virginia Office of EMS in conjunction with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians have developed the following temporary changes to the EMS Initial Certification process.

BLS Certification Testing:

BLS Psychomotor Examination:

The Virginia Office of EMS has cancelled all Consolidating Testing at the BLS level through December 31, 2020.

A Candidate who needs to retest a station/skill will be contacted directly by OEMS or his/her Course Coordinator for assistance.

BLS Cognitive Examination:

The National Registry of Emergency Technicians (NREMT) has reopened several PearsonVUE testing locations, but is now also offering Pearson OnVUE- a remotely proctored cognitive exams for BLS candidates beginning May 12th, 2020. More information can be found at: 


Once a BLS candidates passes the National Registry Cognitive Exam, he/she will be issued full National Registry and Virginia certifications.

ALS Certification Testing:

ALS Psychomotor Examination:

Currently, all ALS Psychomotor Examinations have been postponed. The Office of EMS is working with ALS programs and the NREMT to provide psychomotor testing. The ALS Testing Calendar can be found on the VA OEMS website at:


ALS Cognitive Examination:

Advanced EMT Candidates may take the cognitive test at a location or remotely. More information may be found at: 


 Paramedic Candidates must take the cognitive test at a PearsonVue location. Remote proctoring for this examination is not available.

Once an Advanced EMT or Paramedic Candidate successfully completes the respective cognitive examination, he/she will receive a provisional certification that must be converted to full certification once the COVID-19 threat is mitigated and the Candidate passes the required NREMT psychomotor examination.

An Important Announcement from the Virginia State Health Commissioner

As COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve, please visit the VDH website for updated epidemiological information and clinical guidance. 

COVID-19 in Virginia 

● As community transmission increases in Virginia, healthcare facilities should consider additional actions to reduce the risk of their employees introducing COVID-19 into their facilities. 

● There is growing evidence of asymptomatic and presymptomatic spread. CDC recently changed the start of the infectious period to 48 hours before symptom onset. 

● For people who must leave their home for essential needs (e.g., grocery shopping and picking up pharmacy medications), CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. N95 respirators and surgical masks are not recommended in these situations so that they can be reserved for HCP and first responders 

● Mildly ill patients may not need to be tested and can be managed at home. Clinical diagnoses of COVID-19 are reportable; given the volume, reporting through the VDH Online Morbidity Report Portal is preferred. Please continue to call your local health department about suspected outbreaks of COVID-19. 

● For COVID-19 patients, please provide this patient handout about home isolation and encourage them to notify their contacts. 

● A COVID-19 Flag Alert has been added to Virginia’s Emergency Department Care Coordination Program. COVID-19 alerts will automatically become inactive after six weeks. 

● VDH has updated work restriction recommendations to allow asymptomatic healthcare personnel who have had an exposure to a COVID-19 patient to continue to work after options to improve staffing have been exhausted and in consultation with their occupational health program. More information can be found on the VDH COVID-19 Healthcare Personnel Risk Assessment Tool


VDH criteria for COVID-19 public health testing at DCLS have been updated to remove requirements for influenza testing. Until testing is widely available, prioritizing testing at private labs for high risk groups should also be considered. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

● Virginia continues to experience a critical shortage of PPE. CDC has defined acceptable alternative PPE for caring for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Additional shipments from the Strategic National Stockpile are not expected in the near future. For questions, individual practices, home health and CHCs/FQHCs should check with their local health districts. Hospitals and nursing homes should contact their regional healthcare coalition. 

Congregate Settings 

● As of April 3, 31 confirmed outbreaks (defined as having two or more COVID-19 cases) have been reported and 12 (39%) are in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Answers to frequently asked questions are available on the VDH website and guidance is on the CDC website

● Other congregate settings, such as jails, prisons, and behavioral health residential facilities also face the threat of COVID-19 introduction and spread. To date, two (7%) confirmed outbreaks have been reported in correctional facilities. CDC guidance and resources are available for correctional facilities and detention centers. 

Thank you for all your efforts on the front line of combat against the COVID-19 pandemic. You are an essential part of the public health campaign to protect the health of the people of the Commonwealth. 

M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA - State Health Commissioner

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