COVID-19: Get the latest information, visitor restrictions, and service changes

HealthFocused

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Posts in COVID-19

Staff wearing masks while working together at a computer

Why do you need to wear a mask?

September 15, 2020

Because they work to slow the transmission of COVID-19. Perhaps because the first advice was that it wasn't necessary to wear a mask. Perhaps because, culturally, Americans don't generally wear masks at other times, such as flu season. Perhaps because some just don't understand the benefit. Regardless of the reason, many people around the country and around our community do not wear masks, or face coverings, when they should. The question many have is, "Why do I need to wear a mask?" The Infection Prevention staff at Augusta Health is happy to provide answers. "I think there may have been...Continue Reading

Sick woman sitting on her bed and blowing her nose

Why a flu shot is so important this year

September 9, 2020

This fall, two viruses will be circulating at this same time: seasonal influenza and COVID-19. Some are calling it the 'twindemic'. The situation makes it more important than ever for people to get the flu shot this year. "It's important to get the flu shot every year," says William Doherty, MD, FACHE, Chief Medical Officer at Augusta Health, "but this year, I think it's even more important. There will be two different viruses spreading at the same time. One, which is seasonal flu, we know a lot about. The other, COVID-19, is still new and unpredictable in many ways. We're learning more about...Continue Reading

Father and young son cooking marshmallows over an open fire

Stay safe & protected this Labor Day weekend

August 31, 2020

Learning to live with COVID-19 is an ongoing adjustment. Just as folks begin to feel all is under control, a new surge happens to remind us that the disease is still here in our community and still infecting neighbors, friends and family. For example, in July—after the Fourth of July holiday—the number of positive cases diagnosed at Augusta Health was double what it had been in June. So as we approach the Labor Day holiday weekend, it's helpful to remember these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Augusta Health. If you are the host of a gathering or cookout: Ask guests...Continue Reading

Mother helping her son with school work

Talking with your kids about COVID

August 24, 2020

Children can be silent worriers. They might say they are OK when asked, but most parents instinctively know when something is just not right. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world, the news cycles and everyone's conversations, children observed and listened and maybe started to worry—about themselves, perhaps, but also about grandparents and family and friends who might get sick. As the school year starts again—a school year that will, no matter how attended—will look and feel different than school years past, the worry might kick into overdrive. So now is a great time, as...Continue Reading

Girl swinging and laughing

Soothing for an Anxious Time: Tired of Living in a Time of Pandemic

July 31, 2020

Yesterday seemed to be the tipping point. Every single person seemed to be done with the Covid-19 pandemic. Over it, done, kaput, depressed, exhausted. The heat is definitely exacerbating the whole difficult thing. Everybody seems to be feeling the strain of months of life being altered in every direction. We want to hug Grandma. We want to go to the pool, to church, to restaurants. We want to cough or sneeze without feeling conspicuous and potentially dangerous. We want the real birthday party, wedding shower, wedding, baby shower, church. We are grateful to Zoom and other platforms that...Continue Reading

Cancer Center fountain in the morning sunlight

Feeling Safe: A Cancer Patient's Experience During COVID-19

July 23, 2020

Leon Bernard proudly 'rang the bell' in Augusta Health's Cancer Center on July 14, signifying that he had just completed his final radiation treatment. He began treatment on May 20. During the entire course of his radiation, COVID-19 was an active and spreading disease within the community—one that was of particular concern to cancer patients with vulnerable immune systems. Cancer did not pause for COVID-19, and neither did cancer treatment at the Augusta Health Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Mr. Bernard, however, always felt secure inside the Cancer Center and appreciated all the...Continue Reading

Heart and Vascular staff with the administration team socially distancing for a photo

Staff Recognizes Senior Leadership for COVID-19 Response

July 17, 2020

Heart & Vascular staff recognized Augusta Health senior leadership during a presentation to express the gratitude from all of our teams for the health system's COVID response over the last several months. The senior leadership team was invited to hear the many words of gratitude. Cath lab RN Andy Banas shared with the group, " Ms. Mannix and Senior Leadership members, we the staff of the Heart and Vascular Center would like to show our appreciation for your leadership through this very difficult and unprecedented time. You all have led, not only, this facility but also our community with...Continue Reading

Main entrance of Augusta Health

Moving to Third Phase of Resumption of Services: Inpatient Surgeries

June 8, 2020

On Monday, June 8, Augusta Health moved to Phase III, the final phase of its plan to safely re-open and resume elective services. Phase III adds elective surgeries that require a post-surgical inpatient stay. All these surgeries require COVID-19 testing 72 hours before the procedure and quarantine following the test until the procedure. "We've continued to monitor our dashboard daily, and are confident in our ability to move into Phase III," says Shawn Craddock, DNP, RN, CNOR, NE-BC, Administrative Director of Surgical Services, who is leading the Task Force on the resuming of outpatient...Continue Reading

Looking inside the Cath Lab

Augusta Health Moves to Phase II of Reopening

May 27, 2020

On Monday, May 25, Augusta Health moved to Phase II of its plan to resume and re-open outpatient services in three phases. Phase II services include elective Outpatient Surgery, Endoscopy, Cath Lab, Sleep Lab and Inpatient/Outpatient Invasive Radiology. All of these services require pre-procedure COVID-19 testing of the patient. A quick check of the Augusta Health COVID-19 Dashboard Bed Availability Very Good Prevalence of COVID-19 in the community An increase in positive cases in the Central Shenandoah Valley district PPE Supply Very Good Confidence in safely moving to Phase II Very High "...Continue Reading

Dr. Flam in the operating room

Phase I Reopening Update

May 26, 2020

On May 6, Augusta Health initiated a carefully thought-out plan to resume its elective outpatient services such as diagnostic imaging, diagnostic cardiology procedures, elective outpatient procedures and non-emergency surgeries in three phases. Reopening of these services and moving from one phase to the next is dependent on several factors: The prevalence of COVID-19 in the community and the hospital, the stock of PPE and other medical supplies, the availability of COVID-19 tests, and physicians and staff. A dashboard of statistics tracking testing, patient volume, PPE volume, number of...Continue Reading

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