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Mask on, screeners off; self-screening begins at VA Bedford Sept. 1

A woman of color wearing a surgical mask and coughing

BEDFORD, Massachusetts—Starting Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, VA Bedford Healthcare System will require all Veterans, visitors, and staff to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms when entering its facilities.

The screeners previously performing this temporary duty at the entrances will be returning to their assigned positions. The 100% masking policy is still in effect and surgical masks will be available at the main entrances, along with hand sanitizer stations.

Feeling unwell?

Ideally, Veterans experiencing COVID symptoms should remain home and contact their care provider to convert their appointment to telehealth or reschedule.

If unable to remain home, Veterans who answer yes to any of the COVID pre-screening questions should proceed to the COVID drive-up test site, available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Upon arrival, symptomatic individuals will park in the spots designated by bright yellow signs, call the number posted on the signs in each spot: 781-687-4000, and a health care professional will come out to perform the swab.

Visitors who positively answer any of the screening questions should remain in their vehicle and not enter the facility. Employees who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their manager, then call or email Employee Occupational health for further instructions.

How to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms

Large posters with self-screening questions will be posted at facility entrances of the main hospital and the VA clinics in Lynn, Haverhill, and Gloucester.

Self-screening may also be done digitally using this QR code, visiting the VA COVID screening website, or texting screen518 to 53079.

Self screening questions

In the past 48 hours, have you had any of these symptoms?


  • Fever/chill
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Diarrhea


Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines

Staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines is the best way to protect yourself and your family. Vaccines and boosters continue to protect against new forms of the coronavirus (like Omicron). If you’re eligible, come get your COVID-19 booster, second booster, or additional dose now.

Veterans with questions about their appointment may call the Patient Care Line at 800-VETMED1 (800-838-6331), option 2, or log on to MyHealtheVet.

Visit VA Bedford’s public website for more information about our services and programs. Like and follow us on social media on Facebook and Twitter

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