What the COVID-19 pandemic means for VA health care facilities
Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora, Colo. Photo by Chet Strange/The American Legion

What the COVID-19 pandemic means for VA health care facilities

As our nation’s largest health care system braces to handle the increasing demands placed on it by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials released information regarding access to VA facilities and what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus.

Call before you go.

If you’re currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call your VA medical center or 1-844-MYVA311 (844-698-2311). You may also login to My HealtheVet and send a secure message.

You will be asked screening questions.

All staff and visitors will be screened upon entry to VA facilities. VA asks that you allow extra time to go through the screening process.

Visitation is being restricted.

VA medical centers will only be permitting ONE visitor per patient for veterans who require assistance to get to and from an appointment, in-patient veterans in palliative or hospice care, and veterans who are having major procedures. Each visitor must be symptom-free for 14 days and must not have travelled outside of the United States during the past two weeks. Absolutely no visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed to enter VA health care facilities, nor will they be allowed to wait in common areas.Visitor access will be evaluated on case-by-case basis.

As of March 18, some VA facilities have cease non-urgent elective procedures.

Contact your VA medical center to see if this change applies to you.

For the latest VA updates on coronavirus and common-sense tips on preventing the spread of disease, visit www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/.

Stay informed on message from American Legion National Commander James W. "Bill" Oxford and other news stories regarding the coronavirus at www.legion.org/coronavirus.