Carl Vinson VAMC to Cease Non-urgent, Elective Procedures

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution, Carl Vinson VA Medical Center will cease non-urgent elective procedures starting March 18, 2020. Veterans also have the option to schedule an appointment with a non-VA community care provider at VA’s expense.

This action will reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and ICU use and will free up resources to address the needs of Veterans under evaluation and diagnosed with COVID-19. Urgent and emergent surgeries will continue.

To minimize risk for employees and Veterans, everyone who enters the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center will be pre-screened. This may lengthen entry times, so patients are advised to allow for that when arriving for their appointments.

The screening consists of three questions:

Do you have a fever or worsening cough or shortness of breath or flu-like symptoms?

Have you or a close contact traveled to an area with widespread or sustained community transmission of COVID-19 within 14 days of symptom onset?

Have you been in close contact with someone, including health care workers, confirmed to have COVID-19?

Per CDC guidance and VA protocols, individuals known to be at risk for a COVID-19 infection are immediately isolated to prevent potential spread to others.

Veterans and staff are encouraged to take everyday preventive actions to avoid being exposed to the virus:  

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Stay home if you are sick or becoming sick. 

Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

If you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with symptoms, call the VA before going to the facility.