South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)
STVHCS updates vistation policy
March 16, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Antonio and Kerrville VA Announces Additional Safeguards to Protect Veterans, Visitors and Employees
No Visitor Policy at San Antonio VA Campus
San Antonio, Texas (March 16, 2020) - The South Texas Veterans Health Care System is taking extra precautions aimed at limiting exposure risk to Veterans, volunteers, employees, and visitors.
Veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of COVID-19, flu, or cold should call 877-537-7348 before coming to the VA. Clinical staff are available to provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice and triage. This service is available at no cost to Veterans enrolled for VA health care.
The South Texas Veterans Health Care System includes the Audie L. Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio; the Kerrville VA Medical Center and the following outpatient and contract clinics:
• Frank M. Tejeda Outpatient Clinic
• North Central Federal Clinic
• Balcones Heights Outpatient Clinic
• Shavano Park Outpatient Clinic
• South Bexar Outpatient Clinic
• Victoria Outpatient Clinic
• Data Point Outpatient Clinic
• Northeast 410
• Northwest 410
• Pecan Valley
• New Braunfels
• Southwest Military
To minimize risk for employees and Veterans, everyone who enters the South Texas Veterans Health Care System campuses will be pre-screened. This may lengthen entry times, so patients are advised to allow for that when arriving for their appointments.
The screening consists of three questions:
1. Do you have a fever or worsening cough or shortness of breath or flu-like symptoms?
2. Have you or a close contact traveled to an area with widespread or sustained community transmission of COVID-19 within 14 days of symptom onset?
3. Have you been in close contact with someone, including health care workers, confirmed to have COVID-19?
Visitor policies are as follows:
• A temporary “no visitor” policy has been adopted at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio.
• Access to the Kerrville and San Antonio Community Living Centers (VA nursing homes), Spinal Cord Injury Unit, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Domiciliary, Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program and visitation to the inpatient units is no longer permitted. These units are being strictly monitored to protect patients deemed more vulnerable and at higher risk. This means no outside visitors will be permitted to see residents in these units and inpatient areas. The only exceptions will be in compassionate cases, when Veterans are in their last stages of life on hospice units. Learn more about VA’s announcement here.
• For outpatient clinic appointments in the San Antonio and Kerrville area, we strongly encourage Veterans to limit family members to one while accompanying them to their appointment or immediate caregivers only and no children under 18 years of age.
Lastly, South Texas Veterans Health Care System will post cancelled special events and/or activities on the following sites : www.southtexas.va.gov, www.facebook.com/SanAntonioVAMC, www.twitter.com/SanAntonioVAMC .
South Texas is temporarily ceasing all participation in public outreach events until April 30, 2020.
The South Texas Veterans Health Care System understands these actions may be inconvenient to some; however, these measures will help protect those who trust VA for their care and the employees who provide that care.
More information for Veterans is here: https://www.va.gov/coronavirus
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 website.
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