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COVID-19 Update: Update on Mask Donations, Transportation

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The most important priority for our community is to stay home!

There is increased urgency for Social Distancing as the curve for the peak for COVID-19 in the Commonwealth of Virginia has shifted. The estimated peak for resource use is April 20, 2020.

That is 13 days away. 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.

The key component is for individuals to also stay at home as much as possible. This is the best way for us to help ensure we will have the beds, ventilators, masks, tests, and supplies necessary to meet the needs of our valued community, and on April 20! Staying at home and Social Distancing are real and direct ways people can contribute and help reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our community.

If you have concerns about symptoms or exposure

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, educated about respiratory illness and tested for COVID if needed. Availability of tests is improving.

Update on Positive Cases

As of today, Augusta Health has reported 9 positive cases of COVID-19 across the health system. Two of these cases are in the hospital, and the others are outpatient cases.

Transportation Concerns for Medical Care during COVID-19?

Not everyone has readily available transportation for medical care, so would generally use public transportation cabs for medical care. COVID-19 has changed our regular patterns for public transportation and physician visits, though. Here's some advice on the best way to seek care if you are concerned about symptoms of COVID-19.

First, if symptoms are severe, call 911 and access EMS. Let the dispatcher know you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. There are special EMS protocols in place to manage COVID patients, so they need to be aware of the possible case. The dispatcher may ask screening questions while EMS is en route.

If symptoms are not severe, call the COVID Care Call Center. Nurses are on the line to provide initial screening. For those referred to the COVID-19 Assessment Center, the staff asks about any transportation concerns. According to Matt Fidler, who is managing the Call Center, as of the end of the day yesterday, the Center has fielded 860 calls, and no one has expressed a transportation barrier.

After a patient has been tested, and they are either pending or positive, they are connected to Augusta Health's COVID Care Management Team. These medical professionals follow up with patients and provide support and advice as needed. Kim Galloway, one of the case managers, says they do ask about possible caregivers who can help meet the patient's needs and connect patients to community resources if needed.

Finally, for those who might need a follow-up visit with a physician, those are being scheduled through telehealth and phone visit whenever possible to reduce exposure.

It Takes a Village…Donations to Augusta Health

The Augusta Health Foundation has been overwhelmed by the response we have received from the community! Since last evening, the Foundation has received more than 100 calls and emails from people in the community and all of our surgical drape has been distributed or will be distributed tomorrow morning.

However, Augusta Health still needs masks made from cotton fabric. Please note that you will need to provide your own materials.

If you are interested in making cotton masks for use by caregivers, staff and patients: We want all Augusta Health personnel and patients to be safe and protected during this time!

Once you have the masks made, you may drop them off at the Augusta Health Foundation Donations Truck that is located in back of the hospital in the Business Office parking lot, across from the loading dock. The truck will be available from 7am – 4 pm seven days per week.

Other ways to help Augusta Health include:

Items Needed

  • Hand-sanitizer
  • Masks, (N95s, surgical, medical, dust masks or hand-sewn masks) *For information on how to make a mask, see the link below
  • Face shields
  • Gloves, non-latex

To Make a Donation

  • Please take items needed to the white, paneled donations truck parked in front of the Business Office, which is located in the back of the hospital, across from the loading dock. The truck will be available from 7am - 4 pm, seven days a week.
  • To make a financial contribution, please give online through the Augusta Health Foundation website or send to the Foundation at; PO Box 1000, Fishersville, VA 22939.

Do You Sew? Help Protect Our Caregivers!

Thank you again for your interest in helping Augusta Health and our caregivers! We are most grateful!

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