Summary of COVID-19 Staffing Resources
As we continue with the response to COVID-19, and a mass vaccination campaign in the state of Connecticut, our public health partners will face the additional challenge of finding appropriate staffing. This document provides a summary of the available staffing resources and systems in place to meet the growing demands placed on the state’s public health system.
For more information on liability protections for practitioners and volunteers who are participating in mass vaccination, please visit the link: Liability Protections for Practitioners and Volunteers Engaged in Mass Vaccination
Licensed Healthcare Professionals Who Can Readily Vaccinate or Support Medical Surge
1. Connecticut Health Coalition Web Portal
Licensed physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, advanced practitioner registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses who can administer intramuscular injections (i.e., give COVID19 vaccinations) to patients or provide medical surge support in a variety of settings can sign-up as paid volunteers through the CT Healthcare Coalition Web Portal.
Hospitals, federally qualified health centers, pharmacies, other healthcare settings and local public health departments can reach out to CT’s Healthcare Coalition to obtain access to the online registry of these licensed professionals. Directions to do that can be found here.
2. Department of Public Health Commissioner's Orders
February 15th, 2022 Commissioner’s Order: Authorization of Licensed Healthcare Professionals to administer vaccine after successfully completing training
Certain licensed healthcare professionals are eligible to become approved to administer COVID-19 vaccinations if they complete a training program approved by DPH. Practitioners include the following healthcare professionals:
- podiatrists, veterinarians, dentists, and paramedics
- dental hygienists (provided the dental hygienist has training to administer anesthesia)
- advanced emergency medical technicians, and emergency medical technicians (provided they have previously completed the DPH-approved intramuscular epinephrine administration training)
Healthcare professionals who successfully complete the online and hands-on training modules will receive a completion certificate through the training provider and an approved evaluator. Their names and information will be included in the DPH Vaccinator Registry linked below. These healthcare practitioners are then able to legally administer COVID19 vaccine, under the direction of a licensed healthcare provider, in accordance with the Commissioner's Order, who can already readily vaccinate. Mass vaccination sites can request a copy of the professional’s approval as a vaccinator and verify it through the Vaccinator Registry.
Hospitals, federally qualified health centers, local public health departments, and other healthcare practitioners looking for expansion of their workforce should consider having their staff complete this course as soon as possible.
3. Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act
The January 28, 2021, amendment to the Federal PREP Act covers two additional categories of persons who are qualified persons under section 247d–6d(i)(8)(B), including:
- healthcare providers who are licensed in a State to prescribe, dispense, and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines in any State or jurisdiction where the PREP Act applies
- physicians, registered nurses, and practical nurses whose licenses expired within the past five years to prescribe, dispense, and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines in any State.
These healthcare professionals can safely administer COVID-19 vaccines because they all have training in performing injections and observing for side effects and will be required to document completion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules.
The healthcare professionals will be afforded liability protections in accordance with the PREP Act and the terms of this amended Declaration. Any State law that would otherwise prohibit the healthcare professionals who are a “qualified person” from prescribing, dispensing, or administering COVID-19 vaccines is preempted. (PHE.gov)
- licensed healthcare professionals who may not ordinarily prescribe, dispense or administer vaccines,
- additional healthcare providers with recently expired licenses, and
- students in a healthcare profession training program, subject to appropriate training, supervision, and other specified requirements (PHE.gov)
4. License and Training Resources
- State of Connecticut license verification website (For individuals who held a license out of state, please search that state’s licensing verification system)
- OIG Exclusion List
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules
5. Student Interns
The Department of Public Health is collaborating with the CT Conference of Independent Colleges, the CT Office of Higher Education, the CT State University System, and the University of Connecticut to compile a list of contacts at local colleges, universities, and post-secondary schools that may be able to connect students in programs like nursing, medicine, or medical assisting with healthcare sites. Many sites and facilities already have relationships with nursing schools and other programs. These sites should consider engaging students in these programs to assist in treatment of patients (in accordance with their programmatic and internship requirements), or at mass vaccination clinics in roles that are appropriate to the students' course of study.
Unpaid Volunteers with and without Medical Backgrounds
Much of the work associated with the pandemic response that support successful operations rely upon non-medical personnel and the roles they fulfill. Volunteers have been utilized to process vaccine records and assist with scheduling, handle traffic control in large settings, assist with administrative functions, answer telephones, process and sign-in workers and other volunteers, or pick-up and drop off needed supplies. These functions do not require the skills of licensed healthcare practitioners but are equally as valuable.
There are multiple volunteer organizations in Connecticut that can assist communities and facilities. These volunteer resources are organized under the state’s planning regions and coordinated through regional contacts. Please refer to the DEMHS regional map.
1. Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (CT VOAD)
Connecticut Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (CT VOAD) is a humanitarian association of independent voluntary organizations who may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to foster efficient, streamlined service delivery to people affected by disasters, while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort, through cooperation in the four phases of disaster: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. VOAD operates a volunteer recruitment platform called Disaster Agency Response Technology (DART) which includes a comprehensive volunteer management system that provides the capacity for entities to:
- Register spontaneous/unaffiliated volunteers;
- Organize and assign unaffiliated volunteers or groups of volunteers by location, skills, and availability; and
- Communicate specific events and scheduled opportunities that unaffiliated volunteers can offer to support
If an organization needs volunteers, they can contact DART at CTVOAD@NVOAD.org. Once contacted the CT VOAD will walk the entity through the process to register in the DART system and make a request for volunteers.
2. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Many municipalities in Connecticut have robust Community Emergency Response Team’s (CERT). These civil preparedness forces activate to assist their communities during disasters/emergencies. CERT Team Members can be utilized to support administrative roles and other activities for COVID-19 clinics and operations. To learn about your local CERT team or to inquire about the feasibility of deploying CERT volunteers to your COVID-19 operation please contact your local Emergency Management Director or your DEMHS Regional Coordinator.
- DEMHS Region 1: Robert Kenny, Robert.Kenny@ct.gov
- DEMHS Region 2: Jacob Manke, Jacob.Manke@ct.gov
- DEMHS Region 3: William Turley, William.Turley@ct.gov
- DEMHS Region 4: Mike Caplet, Mike.Caplet@ct.gov
- DEMHS Region 5: John Field, John.Field@ct.gov
3. Medical Reserve Corps
There are 25 Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) chapters in CT. Members of the Medical Reserve Corps include medical and non-medical volunteers who are activated for public health or healthcare related missions in their communities. To learn about your local MRC or to inquire about the feasibility of deploying MRC volunteers to your COVID-19 operation please contact the regional MRC coordinators listed below. Prior to inquiring, a requestor should consider the purpose of the request, including location (address), duration, and the types of staff needed for fulfill the mission.