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COVID-19 Safety Precautions

North Florida/ South Georgia Veterans Health System continues to get back to the business of serving Veterans. As more Veterans, family members, and caregivers receive the COIVD-19 vaccines- and communities across the country experience decreasing in COVID-19 cases- a new normal is emerging for our health system that includes blending in-person and telehealth services.

(If you are experiencing symptoms such as a cough, runny/stuffy nose, fatigue, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, fever or sneezing, call the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center (1-877-741-3400) first – before visiting a hospital or clinic.  Our clinicians are available 24/7 to address your concerns, schedule a virtual appointment with a licensed health care professional in the comfort of your home or wherever you may be, or assist if you need to get tested for COVID-19.)

Safety Precautions

Effective immediately the following changes have been made to our safety precautions:

  1. All clinical services (Primary Care, Mental Health, and Specialty Care) are at 100% capacity for face-to-face appointments. Virtual/Connected Care options are available as clinically appropriate and/or Veteran’s preference.
  2. Visitation:
    • COVID/Isolation Patients: Visitation restricted
    • Acute/Critical Care Visitation for Non-COVID Patients: Visitation restricted
    • Community Living Center (CLC) Visitation: No visitors are permitted in our Community Living Centers.
    • End of Life Visitation: End of Life exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.  Primary Medical Team will discuss the special protocols with patient’s visitor and coordinate the visit.
    • Visitors for Outpatient Appointments: Visitors for outpatient appointments, procedures and within the Emergency Department will continue to be limited to one essential caregiver/support person for those needing assistance with physical or cognitive challenges.
    • No visitors under 12 (including infants) are permitted into the facility (Exception: Under 12 allowed for Veterans receiving Family Therapy and breastfeeding mothers may bring their infant). Visitors/Adult Caregivers must comply with the universal masking policy and pass COVID-19 screening procedures.
  3. Volunteers that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are welcomed back into NF/SGVHS operations. Learn how to become a volunteer here.
  4. COVID-19 Entry Point Screening: Malcom Randall VA Medical Center and Lake City VA Medical Center will screen Veterans and visitors at main entry points.  All other clinics will provided COVID-19 screening questions and resources at designated entry points and check-in points of care. You can expedite the process by texting “SCREEN” to 53079 or visit www.va.gov/covid19screen/ on your mobile device. This digital pre-entry screening tool allows Veterans, caregivers, and employees to answer questions on their mobile phone and share their results with screeners upon admittance to any of our facilities.

Our safety measures for physical distancing and appropriate personal protective attire- including face mask for inside areas- will remain in place at all of our facilities as services continue to expand. Effective immediately, all staff, contractors, volunteers, patients, and visitors must now wear a medical-grade mask while in any of our facilities. No other form of face covering is considered acceptable.