Coronavirus and PPE Requirements for Passengers Using NEMT

July 30, 2020 6:58 pm Published by

Around the Sound is committed to helping patients get to their medical appointments. It’s not always easy to find reliable transportation, especially if you’re disabled—and with the COVID-19 pandemic moving across the globe, it’s more important than ever. We’re proud to be a helping hand.

However, the pandemic requires that we take extra precautions when helping you get around town.

PPE and Coronavirus Guidelines for Around the Sound

In order to book a ride with us, we ask that you follow our PPE process when using our medical transportation services in Tacoma, WA:

  • Be honest about your COVID-19 status: Passengers should notify the transportation company in advance if they are infected or being tested for infection. We will still help you get where you need to go, but may need to take extra precautions.
  • Be ready to answer questions: Passengers should expect to be questioned by dispatch, their driver and at the hospital to verify the health of the passenger and to confirm infection status.
  • PPE is required for passengers: Passengers should wear mask, gloves and ideally a face shield to protect the driver and/or attendant. This rule extends to the entire time, anytime they are transported in one of our vehicles.
  • Drivers are also required to wear PPE: Drivers will wear masks and gloves and explain to the passenger what they are doing to protect and secure the passenger for the trip. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask dispatch or your driver for more information.
  • Be aware that some contact may be unavoidable: The driver may come into contact with passengers during the securement process. To reduce contact, the passenger should offer to help (reaching for the seatbelt) whenever possible. If the wheelchair or scooter has a built-in seatbelt, the passenger should use this seatbelt first, and will be secured with a company seatbelt for extra protection. The safety of our passengers is paramount.
  • Exiting the vehicle: When deboarding the bus, the passenger will leave all PPE on their person and in place during the exit process. This is the riskiest time in the transportation process, due to the fact that the driver may need to touch each passenger to help secure their seatbelts or other devices.
  • Stay tuned for updates: We believe that as the scientific knowledge of COVID-19 improves, we will have other changes and modifications in the future. We defer to the latest research on COVID-19, and will always take the best precautions to keep our passengers and our drivers safe. Research has shown that wearing face masks, gloves and face shields and practicing excellent sanitation has reduced virus transmission between parties, even when they’re in close contact. If different precautions become necessary, we will change our policies.

Wearing the appropriate PPE for NEMT in Tacoma, WA helps keep our drivers and passengers safe. Adhering to our coronavirus PPE precautions will ensure that your ride goes as smoothly as possible, with minimal risk of infection. To book a ride with Around the Sound, contact us today.

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