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

COVID-19 Update: Visitation Policy Update, Music Therapy Partnership

Friday, June 26, 2020

Summer is here…and COVID-19 is still here, too!

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.

Updated Visitation Policy as of Friday, June 26

COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions

Patient & Visitor Guidelines

The health and safety of Augusta Health patients and team members are our priorities. Due to COVID-19, we are taking precautionary measures and are continuing to update visitation guidelines based on the needs of our community. These guidelines apply to all those receiving treatment both inpatient and in the Emergency Department, as well as those with outpatient appointments.

All patients are allowed 1 visitor between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. with the following exceptions:

  • COVID-19 Patients: No visitors.
  • Skilled Nursing & Rehab Units: No visitors.
  • Emergency Department: One visitor for the duration of the visit.
  • Children (18 and under): Two guardians are allowed for the duration of the visit.
  • Labor & Delivery: One coach or partner for the duration of the visit.
  • End of Life: The number of visitors for Non-COVID patients will be determined by the patient's care team. COVID positive patients will have visitation determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Adults with Cognitive, Behavioral, or Special Needs: Patients with disruptive, cognitive, behavioral or special needs may have one person for the duration of the visit, for the patient's safety and well-being.

All Visitors Will:

  • Not have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Be screened every time they enter an Augusta Health facility
  • Have their temperature checked and perform hand hygiene at entry
  • Wear a mask for the duration of their visit
  • Practice social distancing
  • Limit going and coming from a patient's room
  • Perform hand hygiene when leaving or entering a patient's room

Screening: Upon entering any Augusta Health facility, patients and visitors 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, or directed to go home if feeling well.

Universal Masks: All patients and visitors are required to wear a personal mask/face covering for the duration of their visit.

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.

You or your family may request involvement with a Liaison by calling (540) 332-4569.

Music Therapy Partnership with Heifetz Institute

To continue the longstanding tradition of community service during the summer program, the Heifetz Institute will also be partnering with Augusta Health to offer one-on-one concerts via video live stream to their patient and resident populations who are isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heifetz students, faculty, alumni, and greater musical family will provide inspiration and a sense of community to those who in many cases have been isolated from human interaction for weeks or even months. Performers will have the opportunity to play for patients, as well as front line medical workers, and the program will launch on July 2 with a performance by Heifetz Institute Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen.

Clint Merritt, MD, Augusta Health's Medical Director for Population Health, says, "We are very excited about collaborating with the Heifetz Institute to offer the healing gift of personal music performances for our patients. The emotional impacts of social distancing and COVID illnesses are much larger than we could have imagined. The Heifetz Institute is offering a wonderful community service at the perfect time."

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/