COVID-19 Update: New Outside Care Package Policy
The most important priority for our community is to stay home!
The curve for peak hospital resource use in the Commonwealth of Virginia has shifted again. The estimated peak for resource use in Virginia is April 23. That is 1 day away. Exercise Social Distancing to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases in our community. Flattening the curve is the best way to help ensure we will have the beds, ventilators, masks, tests, and supplies necessary on peak resource day. Now is not the time to stop social distancing!
While the peak resource day has moved further into the future, it is important to note that the curve for peak resource use is much flatter than it was a week ago! This indicates that social distancing and the precautions taken by our state and community are having a positive impact on the incidence of COVID-19 in our community! So please stay home.
As a community, we have taken many necessary steps to create social distancing---schools are closed, non-essential services are closed and Governor Northam has issued a Stay-at-Home Order. Thank you for the part you have played in flattening the curve.
For more information, visit https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/virginia
If you have concerns about COVID-19 symptoms or exposure
Please call our COVID Care Call Center at (540) 332-5122. We have a team of nurses answering the calls seven days a week between 8 am and 4:30 pm.
Augusta Health's COVID-19 Assessment Center is located at the Waynesboro Urgent Care at 201 Lew Dewitt Boulevard in Waynesboro. At the Assessment Center, patients can be evaluated, treated and educated about respiratory illness and tested for COVID if needed. Availability of tests is improving.
The COVID Care Call Center and COVID-19 Assessment Center work together to see patients effectively while reducing possible exposure of others to COVID-19.
Update: Augusta Health COVID Experience
To date, Augusta Health has confirmed 35 positive cases of COVID-19 through testing done at Augusta Health facilities. Today, only one case is an inpatient, so our resources—beds, ventilators, Isolation capacity and PPE—are currently sufficient.
The number of positive cases in the Staunton-Augusta County-Waynesboro area seems to be trending at a slower pace than for the state of Virginia as a whole. It is too early to determine if that is because our local curve is two weeks behind the state or if it is the impact of our local, proactive responses such as social distancing and creation of special COVID-specific medical services such as the Call Center and the Assessment Center.
When an area begins to climb the curve, the number of positive cases increases sharply. This is happening in Virginia this week as we approach the August 23 peak resource target date. We anticipate that our SAW region will see more cases soon, so actions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus are vital now: avoid close contact with others; maintain a six foot social distance; wear a cloth mask or face covering in public to help contain your droplets; sash hands frequently; and clean and disinfect high touch surfaces like counters and tables thoroughly and often.
New Outside Care Package Policy
The safety of every Augusta Health patient, team member and community member is our top priority. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and new information becomes available, we have decided to implement a new Limited Outside Care Package Policy for packages being dropped off for patients:
- All persons delivering care packages will be subject to established screening criteria: Contact with a known or suspected person positive for COVID-19; Signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19; Fever of 100°F or greater; New or worsening cough; New or worsening shortness of breath; New or Worsening Loss of Smell
- Anyone screening positive for these criteria, or those declining to be screened, will not be allowed to drop off care packages to admitted patients.
- All care packages must be delivered to the Main Entrance Atrium.
- All care package items must be sealed in a Ziploc bag prior to arrival.
- Any item that cannot fit into a sealable plastic bag cannot be accepted.
- Multiple sealed bags may be brought for a patient.
- All care package bags will be wiped down and sanitized on the exterior before being brought onto the patient floor.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Today's Blog by Augusta Health Experts
So many of us are dealing with a lot of change, stress and uncertainty during this time. However, in speaking with Augusta Health Dietitians, we have all agreed upon one "silver lining"—the connections we are creating with our family members during meal time. Instead of nights full of sports practices and homework, we are sitting around the table enjoying a healthy meal and each other's company.