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

HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Woman and child in the sun

Protecting Against Heat Related Illnesses

June 10, 2020

The full force of summer is quickly approaching, which means temperatures will be heating up significantly. While it’s great to enjoy the benefits of longer days and being outdoors, the heat that summer brings can also be harmful, even deadly. Heat related illnesses claim over 600 lives on average each year. The good news is that heat related illnesses and deaths are preventable if you follow proper safety guidelines.Remember, infants, young children, people over the age of 65, and people with physical illnesses like heart disease are at increased risk of suffering from heat related illnesses... 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

Man taking a selfie while mowing the lawn

A Healthcare Checklist Every Man Should Follow

June 8, 2020

According to a 2019 Cleveland Clinic study, 72% of men surveyed said they would rather do a household chore like cleaning the bathroom than go to the doctor. The survey also revealed that 1 in 5 men aren’t completely honest with their doctor about their health concerns. A high aversion to going to the doctor, coupled with a lack of complete transparency, can put a man’s health at risk. Prompting a loved one to go to the doctor can help. In fact, 20% of men said they go to the doctor because of a loved one’s encouragement. Being proactive is also important when taking ownership of one’s health... 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

Girl blowing a dandelion and laughing

Help for Isolation Blues

May 26, 2020

A lot of us are getting tired of isolation, tired of masks, tired of virtual visits, just tired of life in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic. We each have our own set of worries and frustrations. Though we are all roughly going through the same thing some of us have complicating factors that simply make it harder (specific issues with health, finances, childcare, eldercare, etc.). It would be hard to argue that anyone is immune from the effects of living with all of the changes that have been brought about by the Pandemic. What can we do to make things a little bit better without putting... Continue Reading

Stroke assessment being performed in the Emergency Room

Lost in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Stroke Awareness Month and Treatment

May 19, 2020

Each May, healthcare organizations observe Stroke Awareness Month to remind communities about stroke signs and symptoms, and how to prevent and treat stroke. It's an important message every year because although stroke remains a leading cause of death and disability, it is preventable and treatable. In 2020, the message takes on an increased concern. In a study published online in May as a Letter to the Editor in the New England Journal of Medicine, researcher Akash Kansagra, MD, notes that the number of people seeking stroke treatment has dropped 39% compared to pre-COIVD-19 pandemic levels... Continue Reading

Allie and Teresa adapting to work in their area during a pandemic

Heroes at Work: Adapting Processes in a Time of Need

May 13, 2020

While some Augusta Health employees have been redeployed to new departments or roles at Augusta Health, many have stayed in their home departments. They perform vital tasks still needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but most processes and procedures have been adapted to help manage and reduce the spread of the virus. Even the routine has been revised. Allie Armstrong Allie Armstrong, a Medical Laboratory Scientist, has worked in the Augusta Health hospital laboratory for two years. The laboratory has several departments--chemistry, hematology, urinalysis, microbiology, and a blood bank. As a... Continue Reading

Close-up of a box packed with lettuce and carrots

Crop to Community Program Connects Local Farmers to Those in Need

May 12, 2020

For every problem, there is a solution—and when community-minded people put their minds and ideas together, they find innovative and creative solutions to multiple problems. That is how Augusta Health's Crop to Community program came to be. "There were many farmers in the community who, because of the COVID pandemic, have excess crops and livestock as a result of restaurant closures and reduction in other buyers. At the same time, and although we've always had people in need of fresh food options, the pandemic has increased the concern for those with food insecurities," says Krystal Moyers, M... Continue Reading

Patient and provider looking at a tablet while wearing masks

Reopening for Outpatient Services at Augusta Health

May 7, 2020

On May 1, Governor Ralph Northam allowed Order of Public Health Emergency Two, which temporarily halted all elective procedures at Virginia hospitals, to expire. The Order was issued to conserve healthcare resources and supplies because Virginia was experiencing a rapid rise in cases of COVID-19. There were legitimate concerns that hospitals could be overwhelmed by a surge of patients. The efforts of Virginia's communities and medical facilities to flatten the curve and reduce the rapid spread of COVID-19 had success, so hospitals have been able to preserve the stock of Personal Protective... Continue Reading

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