UT Health EMS teams deployed as part of state’s Rapid Assessment Quick Response Force

May 12, 2020

Tyler, Texas (May 12, 2020) — UT Health East Texas EMS has deployed two teams in as many weeks to assist statewide COVID-19 testing efforts.

The first three-person team was sent to an East Texas facility on May 2 and the second team was deployed to a different East Texas facility on Friday. In both cases, the teams tested everyone in the facility for COVID-19.

UT Health East Texas EMS is part of the state’s Rapid Assessment Quick Response Force, which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott included in the recommendations for nursing homes in his plan to open Texas. Aimed at quantifying the extent of infection immediately, it involves deploying teams to provide rapid response and medical triage at facilities across the state.

“We are happy to help the state in any way possible to stop the spread of this virus,” said John Smith, CEO of UT Health EMS. “We started training for things like this after Ebola with infectious disease response units, and these rapid response units are another way we could put our team’s expertise to use. We have been and will continue to respond to the state’s need for quick action when facilities are at risk of becoming hotspots for the virus.”