Non-Emergency Transportation during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

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AFL 20-70 From the California Department of Public Health

September 14, 2020

TO: Skilled Nursing Facilities
SUBJECT: Non-Emergency Transportation during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary

This AFL provides recommendations to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for non-emergency transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SNFs are responsible for providing care to residents and must ensure residents are able to attend medical appointments. It is essential that SNFs and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) and non-medical transportation (NMT) providers follow safety procedures and protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The California Department of Public Health recommends SNFs coordinate with their contracted NEMT and NMT providers to follow the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) COVID-19 Guidance for NEMT and NMT Providers. Recommendations for NEMT and NMT providers include:

  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects, including door handles and seat belts, before transporting another client. Wear disposable gloves during cleaning and then dispose after each use.
  • All drivers and transport personnel must wear a facemask.
  • Regardless of the health status of the patient, all patients must wear a facemask
  • Air recirculation in both compartments should be turned off, to maximize air changes that reduce potentially infectious particles in the vehicle.
  • Open outside-air vents in the driver compartment when transporting clients.
  • Wear a single pair of disposable patient examination gloves and change gloves if they become torn or contaminated, in addition to changing gloves between rides.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based sanitizers (at least 60 percent alcohol) when you cannot wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough and/or sneeze and dispose of the tissue immediately.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink fluids, eat healthy foods and manage your stress.

These recommendations are industry based and apply regardless of the payer source for the transportation company.

If you have any questions about this AFL, please contact your local district office.


Original signed by Heidi W. Steinecker

Heidi W. Steinecker
Deputy Director