BASKING RIDGE, N.J. -- Verizon continues its support of first responders, public health agencies, and federal, state and local government agencies with technology and connectivity solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Verizon Response Team is currently leading nearly 160 engagements in the United States and has deployed mobile cell sites, WiFi hotspots, free charging stations and other solutions that help boost network performance and enable communications.
Verizon along with public and private healthcare agencies is delivering solutions that allow healthcare professionals to stay connected to patients and each other, including the enablement of coronavirus testing through connected technologies, such as mobile hotspots, smartphones and tablets. The delivery of a reliable, secure network helps healthcare workers stay connected to patient records, on-premise laboratory results and other critical information they need when time to diagnosis and care is critical.
Specifically, Verizon is:
- enabling connectivity at multiple federal, state and local mobile command centers to accelerate testing at critical remote testing sites
- standing up technology to allow thousands of doctors to work remotely, alleviating stress on hospitals
- delivering connectivity to support COVID-19 field efforts at testing and triage centers
- enabling remote processing for healthcare insurance claims for mobile and remote users by augmenting contact centers
- expanding telehealth options by increasing access to tablets and devices for patients
“Time is of the essence when addressing a pandemic like COVID-19,” said Dr. Jerry Hauer, former Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for the State of New York. “Verizon’s capabilities and solutions are enabling the seamless communication first responders and public health professionals need to provide critical care to patients during this crisis.”
Verizon has also deployed portable cell sites at Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), coronavirus mobile testing sites and quarantine areas in Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, to increase network capacity at these locations.
“Our Verizon team has a tremendous sense of urgency when it comes to the critical technology and connectivity needs of both public health and public safety agencies,” said Andrés Irlando, senior vice president and president, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “When first responders and federal, state and local agencies on the frontlines need us -- for mobile testing or quarantine sites or making sure healthcare professionals are able to connect with patients and each other -- Verizon is here to serve.”
Verizon is also working with education, government and healthcare agencies to provide remote connectivity options, call centers, interactive voice response services (IVRs) and conferencing solutions. This week, Verizon announced that it is working with the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide internet connectivity for students who don’t have Internet access at home. Other initiatives include:
- standing up a COVID-19 hotline for a state’s department of health
- working with school systems to provide MiFi devices to enable remote learning
- working with a city government to add capacity to 311 systems
- setting up an integrated voice response system for a state department of health to allow better management of incoming calls
- providing additional phones to multiple agencies to allow more workers the ability to work remotely
- working with a federal agency to improve integrated voice response systems to better manage call queue
- activating conference lines for county governments to enable essential functions to continue
- supporting conference bridges for multiple state and federal agencies
Verizon’s award-winning fiber optic and wireless networks continue to perform well, meeting the shifting demands. We continue to closely monitor network usage and prioritize network demand in assisting many U.S. hospitals, first responders and government agencies, as needed.
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“During an unprecedented crisis of this nature, no need is more critical than communication – whether it’s between loved ones or between first responders and healthcare professionals who are on the front line, staying connected is absolutely vital for everyone’s safety and protection,” said former NYPD and LAPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. “As a police commissioner of the nation’s largest cities and today as a private citizen, I have the opportunity to work with Verizon. I know that their network, their technology and most importantly their people will be there to support first responders when they need them most.”
So far, Verizon has deployed portable cell sites to provide additional network coverage at Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), coronavirus mobile testing sites and quarantine areas in Arizona, California, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Texas and Washington states.
Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks have been built and engineered to perform during moments of crisis. We are closely monitoring network usage and prioritizing network demand in assisting many U.S. hospitals, first responders and government agencies, as needed.
“The challenges faced by public sector agencies -- many of whom are leading the response to this pandemic on a national level -- are unprecedented," said Andrés Irlando, senior vice president and president, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon.
“For the past several weeks, we've been working with federal, state, local and education agencies to deliver the technologies, solutions and support they need to serve our communities -- and we'll continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”
In addition, the Verizon Response Team, which supports governments and nonprofits 24/7/365, has been activated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently leading more than 120 engagements in the United States of portable cell sites, WiFi hotspots, free charging stations and other devices that help boost network performance and foster communications for agencies involved in response efforts. First responders and medical teams are using these devices to support critical tasks like managing quarantines sites and triaging patients, supporting the needs of public health and safety professionals including:
- Quarantine locations at military bases and airports for people returning to the U.S. from abroad
- COVID-19 testing facilities
- COVID-19 triage areas for first responders
- Airport command centers for emergency services
- First responders and medical staff at hospitals, departments of health and public safety agencies
- State field workers assigned to COVID-19 response
- City event management organizations
- Work-from-home support for fire chiefs and chiefs of police
- Government housing for military families
- Backup smartphones for dispatch and operations centers
- Separate COVID-19 hotlines to divert 911 traffic
In addition, COVID-19 has led to increased call volumes for governments and public health organizations. To assist, we’ve added tens of thousands of conference lines to enable connectivity with coworkers and with the public served. We’ve also worked with organizations to configure integrated voice response (IVR) systems that efficiently route calls, helping to better manage incoming calls. We are also standing up virtual call centers that enable agencies to add additional agents.
Our teams will continue to partner with and support first responders, government and public health organizations because we are all in this together.