Deployment Processes: COVID-19 Considerations | CDC

The deployment processes include RRT coordination and reporting, RRT evolution (team members changing over, handoff of information, etc.) and RRT demobilization are discussed in more detail in the RRT General Guidance, Section 4.4 3. Of these, RRT coordination and Reporting may require specific modifications for the COVID-19 response.

In terms of coordination, the section below provides example terms of references (TORs) including objectives, activities, deliverables, and indicators specific to a COVID-19 response that should be adapted to the local and current response context. These TORs can be used to help coordinate RRT activities with other aspects of the COVID-19 response including coordination with other response stakeholder activities. Additionally, the TORs can be used as indicators to monitor the RRTs in the field and included in the RRT’s reporting processes.

Coordinating remote RRT support may be another option a country considers during the COVID-19 response; that is, deploying RRT members (especially those at high risk) to the emergency coordination unit rather than to the field, due to the virus’s high transmissibility 9, 22. Remote engagement can be a challenge as it requires finding alternative mechanisms to engage in the response including a functional information technology network. This can include the use of mobile platforms for data collection, hosting virtual coordination/team meetings, provision of remote trainings, and utilizing pre-existing telehealth services if applicable.

In addition to standard RRT reporting measures (e.g. situation reports, mission reports, etc.), RRT member health monitoring for COVID-19 can be established as part of the reporting process 3. For example, standard operating procedures on what to do if an RRT member feels ill and/or meets sign/symptom criteria for COVID-19. This should include how and how often they should monitor their health (i.e., temperature measurements twice per day), who they should notify (i.e., team lead and/or RRT management), and what isolation/testing and treatment measures will need to be in place. An established plan to safely transport an ill RRT member to appropriate medical care can save valuable time in case of an emergency. If feasible, identify organized and empathetic team members to provide mid-deployment outreach in the form of telephone calls or emails to briefly and simply check-in with deployers in the field to identify any potential risks or resource needs.

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