By Jules Lavallee
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 3/24/2021- COVAC GLOBAL is the first fully indemnified COVID-19 membership program that ‘gets you home when traveling without hospitalization,’ COVAC GLOBAL has now added Domestic US Travel to their product services. This follows the tremendously successful launch of COVAC GLOBAL in August 2020 which was designed for US Travelers for abroad travel only at the outbreak of the Pandemic. Now one year later, with business and leisure travel well back on the radar, US residents traveling domestically more than 300 miles from home can now travel with confidence knowing that if they should contract COVID-19 while traveling in the US, a membership with COVAC GLOBAL will pay for a private aircraft to transport them back to their home city. “At COVAC GLOBAL, we minimize both the physical and medical risk and the psychological trauma that being placed in an out-of-town hospital can cause,” says Ross Thompson, CEO and Founder of COVAC GLOBAL. Our singular goal and promise is to get you home the moment you get sick, no questions, no hospital.”
Your career has been deeply involved in intelligence, security, and crisis management.
Tell us about your background.
I grew up in New York City and was 15 on 9/11. I saw the planes hit the World Trade Center and my father took me down to ground zero a few days after so I could experience for myself what terrorism really looked like. I attended the Elliott School of International Relations at George Washington University and have been involved in foreign intelligence and crisis management for the past 15 years. That work took me across the globe from Europe, Africa, The Middle East, and Latin America. Myself and my team have been very involved in many areas of the global risk business which includes activities such as intelligence collection, executive protection, and crisis management, meaning response to a myriad of events such as kidnapping, extortion, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, security extractions, and medical evacuations. My team and I have been involved in every major security event.
Tell us about COVAC GLOBAL and what led you to its launch?
COVAC GLOBAL is the first and only fully indemnified membership whereas we will arrange for and pay for private aeromedical transport back home should our members test positive for Covid-19. We do that all without requiring you to be hospitalized. So- what does all that mean? It means if you are a COVAC GLOBAL member and you test positive for COVID-19 in Fiji and have at least one symptom, we will send a plane and medical crew to pick you up in Fiji and fly you home to Los Angeles at no expense to you. We do not even require it to be medically necessary to bring you home.
We launched COVAC GLOBAL really because we needed it. We have an office in Mexico City, and I was traveling there almost weekly from our office in Palm Beach, FL. When COVID hit I wanted to know that if I got sick in Mexico, I could get home ASAP without having to be admitted to a local hospital or clinic. Nothing like it existed. I even called around to some of the private jet charter firms we knew, and they said they would not let anyone on their jets if they even had covid symptoms. We knew there was a better way.
How many evacs have you done since inception?
Over two dozen from all over the world from Mexico, the Peruvian Andes, and the Maldives. We have a 100 percent success rate.
What can people expect when working with COVAC Global?
It is very easy. You can either ask your travel advisor to enroll you and your family or you can go to www.covacglobal.com and enroll directly in just a few minutes.
Explain the process once someone is away and gets COVID? What happens next to get them home?
So, let us say you are in Cabo on vacation and wake up at 3 AM with a cough and headache and think you may have COVID-19. You can call our 24/7 Operations Center and speak directly to one of our doctors who can provide a consultation and arrange for you to get tested for COVID-19 first thing in the morning. While you are waiting for your test results, we are there to provide guidance and support to manage your symptoms and condition all the while putting our aircraft and air crews on standby. Should you test come back positive we will immediately launch a fully equipped air ambulance complete with medical staff to your location. We take care of all approvals with the CDC, Customs and Border Protection, State Department, and local authorities. We will pick you up from your hotel (we have even picked up a family with CoVID right from their villa by speed boat) and take you to the airport where we will fly you home.
You have expanded and now offer your service to domestic travelers and many five-star hotels are offering this as part of their offerings. Tell us more.
Yes, COVAC GLOBAL is now available if you are more than 300 miles from home. We know domestic travel is more prevalent then than international now, so we wanted to offer it. So, take that trip to Hawaii or Palm Beach. Regarding the hotels, we were asked by a number of 5-star hotels to craft a program specifically for their guests. We did that and now work with properties such as Tryall Club, Round Hill, Esperanza, Secret Bay and Hermitage Bay.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud that we are able to provide such a valuable service to so many on both the leisure and corporate side. We are able to be there for our members during what could be one of the worst experiences of their lives and bring them home safely.
With your expertise, you could have launched the business of your choice. Why did you feel compelled to help others?
Myself and my team fortunately have the expertise and relationships to bring to bear the resources that can really make a difference in a crisis whether it is a kidnapping or medical emergency. If you do not use those resources to make a difference for others it would make this world a more dangerous place.
What is next for COVAC Global?
We want to keep innovating in the travel risk and assistance space. That means looking at some of the problems with traditional medical and security evacuation and bringing updated solutions to the market. Keep an eye out for sure we have some new things coming. For more information go to www.covacglobal.com