All Montana VA staff, contractors, patients, volunteers and visitors must be pre-screened for COVID-19 before entering a VA facility. This is a CDC and Veterans Health Administration requirement meant to help protect the health and well-being of Veterans as well as staff, contractors, volunteers and visitors.
MTVAHCS Policy for Allowing Visitors
- All visitors and authorized contractors are required to follow MTVAHCS’s COVID mitigation polices.
- Visitors must wear a medical grade face mask for the duration of the visit to the facility. The medical grade face mask must cover the nose, chin, and mouth. If the visitor is not able to follow the face mask requirement, they will be asked to leave the building. Face coverings must be medical grade. Gaiters, shields, or cloth masks are not permitted.
- Minors under the age of 18 years must follow CDC guidelines for masking and guidance. Minors over two years of age must wear a face mask.
- Visitors and caregivers are discouraged unless the person accompanying the Veteran is necessary for the care and transport of the patient.
- If a Veteran refuses to wear a mask, telephone or VVC should be offered. If a clinician determines the Veteran requires in-person care, offer a face shield. Ensure the Veteran may safely wait outside until they can be seen and leave as soon as the visit is completed. Staff interacting with the Veteran must use appropriate PPE.
Mask Wear is Required:
By direction of the CDC and VHA, anyone entering a VHA facility is required to wear a mask indoors. This includes staff, volunteers, trainees, and contractors regardless of vaccination status. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must also wear a mask after exiting a VA medical facility unless six feet of distance can be maintained between the unvaccinated individual and any other individual.
Medical grade masks should be provided at each Montana VA clinical location. All masks provided by MTVAHCS are FDA approved.
Outside of emergency situations, Montana VA strongly encourages each Veteran to wear a mask or try to utilize another means of obtaining services, such as telehealth. Face shields are not adequate when used alone and are not a sufficient form of infection control against COVID.
Please note there are always exceptions. However, if a Veteran refuses to comply with the masking policy, we may have to ask them to leave. If you have questions, or would like to discuss your specific circumstances, please reach out to the clinic staff prior to your visit.
At Montana VA, we all share in the responsibility of keeping Veterans, staff, and visitors safe. Please, politely remind others, and be gracious if you are reminded to wear a mask.