Central Texas VA Announces Additional Safeguards to Protect Veterans, Visitors, and Employees
While the Center for Disease Control (CDC) still considers COVID-19 to be a low threat to the general American public, the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS) is taking extra precautions aimed at limiting COVID-19 exposure risk to Veterans, employees, volunteers, and contractors.
Veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), flu or cold should call 1-800-423-2111 before coming to CTVHCS facilities. Clinical staff are available to provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice and triage. This service is available at no cost to Veterans enrolled for VA health care.
CTVHCS also includes the following medical centers and outpatient clinics:
· Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple, Texas
· Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Waco, Texas
· Austin Outpatient Clinic
· Brownwood Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)
· Cedar Park CBOC
· College Station CBOC
· LaGrange CBOC
· Palestine CBOC
· Temple Clinic Annex
· Joint VA/DoD Sleep Center in Killeen, Texas
Starting Monday, March 16, 2010, CTVHCS clinics are also conducting mandatory screening to rapidly identify individuals who may have symptoms of respiratory illness and direct them for further triage and treatment. Patients should plan to arrive well in advance of appointments time to comply with the screening process.
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Temple and Waco Medical Centers will start conducting the mandatory screening. Entrances to the campuses will be limited, maps detailing the entrances are available at https://www.centraltexas.va.gov/visitors/campus_Screening.asp
Additionally, access to Community Living Centers, Blind Rehabilitation and all residential facilities are now strictly monitored to protect patients deemed more vulnerable and at higher risk, and a temporary “no visitor” policy has been adopted for these units at the Temple and Waco campuses. This means no outside visitors will be permitted to see residents in these units. The only exceptions will be in compassionate cases when Veterans are in their last stages of life on hospice units.
Aside from the operational changes noted, CTVHCS remains fully operational. Veterans with scheduled appointments should plan to attend and complete appointments as they normally would while considering the extra time needed for screening.
CTVHCS understands these actions may be inconvenient to some; however, these commonsense measures will help protect those who trust VA for their care and the employees who provide that care.
For more information about COVID-19 visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 website.