COVID-19 Update: Statement on COVID-19 Surge and Visitor Policy Update
The holiday season is coming…and COVID-19 is sticking around to celebrate with us!
COVID-19 has never left our community and is, in fact, increasing in prevalence. We continue to identify positive cases daily. Please remember:
- Stay home if you can. If you can't stay home, maintain a 6-foot distance between yourself and others.
- Wear a mask to protect others, yourself and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands frequently. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol.
Our local COVID-19 cases are rising quickly and have tripled in the past few weeks
Here's Augusta Health's current status:
Over the past month, the number of COVID-19 cases at Augusta Health has tripled. Projections indicate that this trend in current prevalence rates is expected to continue through at least the end of the year. This recent spike in the number of confirmed positive cases in the Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro area (www.vdh.virginia.gov) aligns with the pattern of surge now experienced around the nation. Since March, there have been 971 cases of COVID-19 confirmed at Augusta Health at inpatient and outpatient facilities, and a total of 1,832 in the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro region.
Prevalence rates are increasing amid a large community spread of the virus. The census of patients in the COVID Care Unit at Augusta Health has increased, and the hospital is engaging efforts that will double the capacity to care for COVID-19 patients. This is part of Augusta Health's comprehensive surge plan that has been in place since the onset of the pandemic. As a result, Augusta Health is no longer accepting new patients to our Rehabilitation or Skilled Nursing Facility units for the time being and will be reviewing elective surgeries for scheduling on a case-by-case basis.
Gatherings during a Holiday Season: You don't want COVID-19 to be your extra guest!
As the temperatures nudge colder and the days grow shorter, a bright spot of the fall and winter seasons each year is the holiday gatherings. But the celebrations—Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years—usually include indoor gatherings of friends and families, crowded parties, and travel. All of these activities increase the risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. So how do we reduce risk for our own parties and the ones we attend? Here, from the Augusta Health Infection Prevention specialists and the CDC, are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Updated Visitation Policy as of Thursday, November 12
In order to keep our patients, staff and community as health as possible during the winter holiday season, our Visitors Policy was revised on November 12. Click on this link to view it:
Business Office Closure
Out of an abundance of precaution, Augusta Health's Business Office Building is now closed to the public. The Health Information/Release of Medical Information on the second floor of the Cancer Center is also closed to the public.
Patients who need assistance from the Business Office should call (540) 332-4600 and choose option 3 to speak with a Financial Advocate. Applications and envelopes will be available in the box to the left of the main entrance to the Business Office. Completed applications, form and payments can be left in the locked drop box.
If you have concerns about COVID-19 symptoms or exposure:
Augusta Health's COVID-19 Assessment Center is open seven days a week from 8 am until 7 pm. It 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 the test is indicated.
For more information about COVID-19 cases in Virginia, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ or https://www.vhha.com/communications/virginia-hospital-covid-19-data-dashboard/