March 17, 2020: In our continuing efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID19, as well as other viruses, MedStar is changing our normal policy that allows non-patient passengers to ride in the ambulance with a patient.
Historically, MedStar has allowed family members and friends to accompany in the ambulance with a patient to the hospital. Effective today, we are instructing our field staff to discourage non-medical personnel to ride in the ambulance with patients the field providers feel may have a contagious illness.
This will help limit exposure of non-patients to contagions in a confined space (such as our ambulances), and also preserve the limited supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (that may have been previously provided to non-patient passengers in the ambulance) for our EMS personnel.
Please understand we are doing this out of an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 outbreak. Once the current crisis has passed, we plan to resume our normal procedures of allowing family and friends to ride in the ambulance with the patient.