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

COVID-19 Update: Visitation Policy and Family Liaisons

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Summer Season is coming…this year it comes with COVID-19!

COVID-19 has not left our community. 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.
  • If you can't maintain a 6-foot distance, wear a mask to protect others.
    • You wear a mask to protect others. They wear a mask to protect you. Wearing a mask does not show fear of the virus, it shows consideration for others. It's how we stop COVID-19 together.
    • New research indicates about 40% of coronavirus transmissions happen before symptoms appear. You could be contagious without even being aware you have the virus.

Visitation Policy and Family Liaisons

Patient & Visitor Guidelines during COVID-19

The safety of Augusta Health team members and patients is our top priority. Due to COVID-19 precautions we have implemented a No Visitation, No Access Policy for all Inpatient and Outpatient areas. This means that there are no visitors at the hospital or at our clinics.

Screening

All patients, support persons, and hospital employees will be screened for COVID symptoms and their temperatures will be taken. If the temperature is higher than 100°F or anyone answers "Yes" to any of the questions, they will be advised on the best way to seek the appropriate level of care.

Screening Questions

  • Do you have symptoms of fever, are you short of breath, have a cough, or loss of smell?

  • Do you have more than two of these symptoms: Chills, Muscle Pain, Headache, Sore Throat, or Loss of Taste?

  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 30 days or had close contact with a person who has symptoms of COVID?

Universal Masks

All patients and support persons are required to wear a personal mask/face covering for the duration of their visit.

Exceptions to this Policy

  • Children: All minor patients under the age of 18 are allowed one parent/guardian for the duration of their visit.

  • Labor & Delivery: One support person will be allowed for the duration of the patient's stay. Once they have been admitted to the unit, they need to remain there with the patient and should arrive with all necessities for the duration of their stay. If the support person leaves the premises, they will not be granted reentry.

  • End of Life: Patients admitted for end of life evaluation or hospice care are allowed one visitor at a time. End of life is defined as anticipated death with a do not resuscitate order and/or planned withdrawal of life-sustaining interventions. If families are in the process of end of life decision making, up to two support persons will be allowed on the day of the meeting with providers.

  • Adults with Cognitive, Behavioral, or Special Needs: Patients with disruptive, cognitive, behavioral or special needs may have one designated support person if it's essential for the patient's safety and well-being.

  • Discharge: One support person will be allowed at the time of discharge for patients with complex discharge plans; or who need training for complicated home care; or who are dependent on care providers; or who have cognitive, language or communication barriers.

What is a Support Person?

A support person is someone who is physically needed to assist a patient either for physical or mental reasons. If support persons are not critical for the care and treatment of the patient, they will not be allowed in patient care areas, and need to remain outside the building while waiting for a patient. Support persons must be over the age of 16, and must remain with the patient at all times, if necessary. If a support person leaves the building where the patient is receiving treatment, they will not be allowed to return.

What are other options for visitation during this time?

We know it's hard to not be with your loved ones when they are sick or receiving care. During this time we have dedicated Family Liaisons who can assist and help you stay in touch with the patient and their provider.

  • What is a Liaison? A Liaison is an Augusta Health staff member who will help you connect with your family, as well as hospital staff.

  • What can a Liaison do for me? A Liaison will make sure that patients and families receive the information they need to stay informed about a patient's condition. Liaisons can also help with technology so patients can video conference with family.

  • How can I contact a Liaison? You or your family may request involvement with a Liaison by calling (540) 332-4569.

Outpatient Behavior Health resumes in-person visits

On Monday, June 1, Outpatient Behavioral Health resumed in-person visits. Throughout the pandemic response, visits have been conducted through a telehealth platform.

  • Outpatient Behavioral Health Services' hours are: Monday through Thursday from 8 am – 6 pm, Friday from 9 am – 3pm
  • The Intensive Outpatient Program will resume on Monday, June 15, 2020.

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 from Monday through Friday 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/