What is the VA Doing to Keep Up with the Pandemic (COVID-19)?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented an aggressive public health response to protect and care for Veterans, their families, healthcare providers and staff in the face of this emerging health risk. They are working directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to monitor the outbreak of the virus.
On March 27th, the VA shared its COVID-19 response plan. This best-practice guide is a valuable tool which may be useful nationwide for the medical community:
The VA has administered over 78,124 COVID-19 tests nationwide, while taking aggressive steps to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
These measures include outreach to Veterans and staff, clinical screenings and protective procedures for patients admitted to community living centers and spinal cord injury units.
What Should Veterans Do?
Veterans with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should immediately contact their local VA facility. The VA urges Veterans to contact the VA before visiting – you can find contact information for your closest VA facility. Alternatively, Veterans can sign into My HealtheVet to send secure messages to their VA providers or use telehealth options to explain their condition and receive a prompt diagnosis.
Upon arriving to the VA, all patients will be screened for flu-like symptoms before they enter in order to protect other patients and staff. A VA healthcare professional will assist you with next steps once this screening process is complete.
At this time, the VA is urging all visitors who do not feel well to please postpone their visits to VA facilities.
How to Protect Yourself
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 infection and no medication to treat it. The CDC believes symptoms appear two to 14 days after exposure. Avoid exposure and avoid exposing others to an infection with these simple steps:
- Learn to use the VA Video Connect through the VA mobile app store or by contacting your VA care team before any urgent problems arise.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An easy way to mark the time is to hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice while scrubbing.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick or becoming sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (not your hands) and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
This is an overview. But understand that Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation for our Veterans and families with loved ones in the military. We are practicing the guidelines of the CDC (social distancing) but are still able to seamlessly serve both new and existing Veterans Disability cases. If you’d like to learn more about filing a Veterans disability claim, feel free to contact us at 877.526.3455 or Fight4Vets.com for your free evaluation. Last but not least, we hold the frontline heroes in great esteem. That includes our military, both past and present. Thank you for your service.