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

COVID-19 Update: Resuming Some Elective Outpatient Services

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Augusta Health begins reopening its outpatient services today, and the most important priority for our community is STILL social distancing!

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 efforts of Virginia's communities and medical facilities to flatten the curve and reduce the rapid spread of COVID-19 have had success. So Augusta Health is resuming services.

Augusta Health will reopen its elective outpatient services such as imaging, diagnostic procedures and imaging and non-emergency surgeries in three phases. Phases were determined after careful study and reflection on the recommendations and guidance provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and other specialty agencies.

Social distancing in both Augusta Health and the community are keys to continuing to meet the criteria for advancing the phases. It's important for everyone to help keep those who have been waiting for healthcare to avoid exposure to COVID-19 and cause further delays. Keep patients—and each other—safe and healthy!

Augusta Health resumes some elective outpatient services:

Today, procedures that do not require testing, additional PPE, sedation or intubation were started. Physicians are contacting patients to inform them of the good news.

  • The first outpatient procedures to resume were diagnostic radiology and diagnostic cardiology.

    • Radiology has opened up screening exams such as LDCT lung cancer screening, screening mammograms, and non-emergency diagnostics like x-rays, CTs, MRIs, ultrasound and nuclear medicine exams.

    • Cardiology has reopened Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab, echocardiograms, vascular ultrasound, cardiac stress tests, and the Device Clinic. They are contacting patients who had procedures postponed.

  • Augusta Medical Group practices have been scheduling patients when they can safely be seen, and are encouraging patients to call their provider if they have questions or concerns.

  • The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders has resumed routine follow-up visits that had been deferred.

  • The Skilled Nursing Floor and Inpatient Rehab Floor will reopen and Pain Clinic will begin procedures, very soon.

Augusta Health will move from phase to phase based on daily monitoring of key indicators which track the levels of Covid-19 in the community and hospital, stock of PPE and other medical supplies, staffing levels, hospital capacity and the availability of Covid-19 tests. Key indicators must continue to be sustained at appropriate levels in order to continue resuming additional services.

Additional details will be provided tomorrow.

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. The COVID-19 Assessment Center is open seven days a week from 8 am until 7 pm.

At the Assessment Center, patients can be evaluated, treated and educated about respiratory illness and tested for COVID if the test is indicated.

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.

Please Wear a Face Mask…and BYOM!

BYOM! That's Bring Your Own Mask!

The CDC, the Virginia Department of Health and Augusta Health all recommend that everyone wear a cloth face mask when out in public. So if you will be coming to an Augusta Health facility and have your own clean and laundered mask, please wear it to your appointment. This will help us preserve the mask supply.

For more information about cloth face masks, visit:
https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/cloth-face-covers/

Additionally, if you'd like to make your own mask, there are patterns (sew and no-sew) here:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html