COVID-19: Alternate Care Site Toolkit, Third Edition Available

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) released the Third Edition of the Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force Alternate Care Site (ACS) Toolkit, providing enhanced guidance, including:

  • Updated directions
  • Funding sources
  • Guidance on providing dialysis support
  • New temperature screening protocol and updated glossary of terms
  • Information on retaining a warm site, including funding strategies
  • Updated supply lists

I’m providing this resource in the event your community requires alternate care sites (ACS) to manage the COVID-19 public health emergency.  COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing in more than 50% of states.  In many states, particularly in the south and west, ICU capacity is gravely challenged, and healthcare personnel are under siege – those areas are in crisis.

“ACS is a broad term for any building or structure of opportunity that is temporarily converted for health care use during a public health emergency to provide additional health capacity and capability for an affected community, outside the walls of a traditional established health care institution. Of note, the Federal Medical Station (FMS) is a specific type of pre-packaged ACS. It consists of federal equipment and supplies that are deployed, managed, and supported by the federal government out of the Strategic National Stockpile. In many past disasters, the FMS was a familiar entity provided by the federal government to impacted communities. For this COVID19 pandemic, the FMS represents a limited ACS capability and may not be available to meet every community’s needs. Therefore, other ACS options need to be considered for increasing health care capacity and capability during this pandemic.”

More information can be found at:

In case you’re not aware of what ASPR TRACIE is/does, here is a brief overview of its mission:

“Brought to you by HHS ASPR, the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) was created to meet the information and technical assistance needs of regional ASPR staff, healthcare coalitions, healthcare entities, healthcare providers, emergency managers, public health practitioners, and others working in disaster medicine, healthcare system preparedness, and public health emergency preparedness.”