COVID-19 Update: Summer is coming... this year it comes with COVID-19
A Joint Message from Augusta Health and the Central Shenandoah Health District
A holiday weekend! The unofficial start to summer! Businesses and activities are opening again as the weather improves! All reasons to gather together and to celebrate, except…
COVID-19 is still very present in our community!
Please remember: Stay home when you can! When you head out, wear a mask and keep six feet between yourself and others, and wash your hands frequently.
"Over the past few days, as we've been able to increase testing, we've noticed a slight increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in our community," says William Doherty, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Augusta Health. "Two of the key indicators we are monitoring very closely as we phase in our outpatient services and elective surgeries are prevalence of COVID-19 in the community and number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital. We want the community to be aware, especially as we head into a holiday weekend, that there's been a slight increase in both and Social Distancing guidelines are essential. We continue our phased re-opening at Augusta Health, and are closely monitoring the situation."
Testing surveillance of the community has increased recently as Augusta Health has begun testing in long term care facilities and COVID-19 testing patients scheduled for surgery and other selected procedures, and events such as the free testing event in Waynesboro on May 19 conducted by the Central Shenandoah Health District and the Virginia National Guard.
"With increased capacity to test, we are identifying more COVID cases and are able to provide isolation guidance and contact tracing to help reduce transmission within the community," adds Laura Kornegay, MD, MPH, Health Director, Central Shenandoah Health District. "While our community has entered phase one of a gradual re-opening process, the public health message continues to be that you are "safer at home". We continue to need to practice social distancing, hand washing, mask use in public and environmental and personal hygiene measures that reduce the spread of COVID. Until we have treatments and/or a vaccine, all of these measures will help protect both individuals and communities from the spread of this virus."
Don't Forget—May is Stroke Awareness Month! If you are experiencing the symptoms of a stroke, please seek immediate emergency care!
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.
Augusta Health has experienced similar decreases in people seeking stroke treatment in the Emergency Department.
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.
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/