COVID-19 Added to List of Diseases Under Ryan White Act Requiring Exposure Notification

On March 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a notice that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is adding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the list of potentially life-threatening infectious diseases to which emergency response employees may be exposed.

The Ryan White Act of 2009 requires medical facilities to notify, upon request, an emergency response agency if a patient transported by that agency to the medical facility is diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening infectious disease. On March 13, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) along with other national fire service organizations asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to add COVID-19 to the list.

“I’d like to thank the HHS, CDC, and NIOSH for moving so quickly to add COVID-19 to the list of infectious diseases,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “Hospitals need to recognize their obligation under the Ryan White Act and let emergency services agencies know if a potential exposure occurred so that steps can be taken to protect firefighters, EMS personnel, and their families.”

Click here to learn more about the notification requirements under the Ryan White Act.