June 10, 2020: COVID operational update - VA Bedford Healthcare System
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VA Bedford Healthcare System


June 10, 2020: COVID operational update

Graphic representing a virus

Bedford VA Medical Center continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this update: rolling out a digital pre-entry screening tool and where to find updates on provided services.

By Kat Bailey, Bedford VA Medical Center Public Affairs
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

BEDFORD, Mass. – Bedford VA Medical Center introduces a digital option for pre-entry screening prior to entering its facilities. 

The digital pre-entry screening tool allows Veterans, caregivers, and employees to answer questions on their smart phones and share their results on arrival at the facility entrance. Simply text the word screen to 53079

Large text and buttons, plain language, and a simple flow of questions allow users to complete screening in under a minute. Staff members can then quickly triage people to either enter the building or go to a designated area for additional screening. 

“As a reminder, if you plan to visit a VA health center soon, don't forget your face mask,” said acting Emergency Manager Sarah Carnes. “All staff, trainees, volunteers, Veterans, and visitors are required to wear a face covering during their time at VA health facilities. And not to worry, we’ll give you a mask if you don’t have one with you.” 

The medical center continues meetings with each department to examine expansion of care initiatives to provide medically appropriate care that reduces risk of COVID-10 transmission to Veterans and staff. 

“As we begin to reopen, I encourage all Veterans and their families or health care proxies to review the operating status page of our public website regularly,” said Dr. Shilpa Rungta, Bedford VAMC’s new Chief of Staff. “The website and our social media postings will have the latest information on which clinics are providing services and how that’s being done in this new era.” 

The operating status website for Bedford VAMC can be found at https://www.bedford.va.gov/emergency/index.asp

Veterans can expect the same great care they received before COVID-19, and the medical center will continue adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and relevant federal, state and local public health guidance and recommendations; the safety of Veterans and staff members is paramount and part of VHA’s culture. 

Until services are resumed, Veterans are asked to continue the process of calling the Patient Care line at (800) 838-6331 to see if virtual care is an option for their issue.  

The numbers of Veterans and staff with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis continue to dwindle into the single digits. Current infection data is listed on VA’s COVID-19 National Summary website and can be sorted by facility. 

For more information about the Coronavirus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.


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