Situation updates and information
Tuesday, Feb 1, 10:00 a.m. EST
Moving Forward Together: Safe Care is Our Mission
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) is continuing to provide health care during the coronavirus pandemic. As always, the safety of our patients and employees is our top priority. Thank you for your patience as we adjust our policies as necessary to allow us to continue to provide safe care.
VISITATION AND SUPPORT PERSONS
Effective until further notice:
- Outpatients can bring a support person to clinic appointments and procedures.
- In-person visitation for COVID-negative inpatients at University Drive is limited to two visitors per patient per day as follows:
- 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in all areas except Behavioral Health.
- By appointment in Behavioral Health between 1 and 2 p.m. and 6 and 7:30 p.m. Visits limited to 30 minutes.
- In-person visitation for COVID-positive inpatients, except for Behavioral Health, is limited to two per day for up to two hours maximum. Visitors must perform hand hygiene when entering and exiting the patient’s room and wear personal protective equipment. We also arrange visitation by phone, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, etc.
- Inpatient visitation is not permitted for COVID+ behavioral health patients. We can arrange virtual visitation.
- COVID-negative and COVID-positive inpatients at end of life can receive a maximum of two in-person visitors per day. Must coordinate visits outside of approved visitation guidelines with Veteran’s care team. For COVID-positive inpatients at end of life, visitors must wear personal protective equipment and perform hand hygiene before and after entering and exiting the patient's room.
- One support person or visitor per patient in the Emergency Department.
- COVID-19 testing is by appointment only.
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19, including the delta and omicron variants, is by getting a COVID-19 vaccine primary series AND a booster when the time is right for you. Learn more at www.va.gov/pittsburgh-health-care/covid-19-vaccines.
Please know that patients and families are at the center of the care we provide at VAPHS. We carefully consider how to maintain visitation while keeping patients, visitors, and employees safe. We may adjust these policies at any time, based on the prevalence of COVID-19 in a region or county, or for other related reasons.
COVID-19 TESTING IS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Veterans: Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing. If you have a sore throat, dry cough, shortness of breath or fever, call 412-360-6000 and select option #3 to speak to a nurse before visiting our facilities or to schedule an appointment for drive-up testing at University Drive. Do not report to the Emergency Department for testing. Do not report for testing without an appointment. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.
This call center can be reached 24/7. However, it is for medical and symptom-related questions only. If you have any administrative questions that you cannot get answered, please call the patient advocates during business hours at 412-360-3614.
ALL ENTRANTS SHOULD KNOW THAT WE:
- Require everyone in our facilities to wear VA-provided medical procedure face masks. We will make an exception only for Veterans who have a documented medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face mask. Other entrants who do not agree to wear a medical procedure face mask will not be admitted to any of our facilities. Cloth masks, neck gaiters and bandanas are not permitted as alternatives to medical procedure face masks.
- Please ensure you have an appointment scheduled before you come in.
- Enter the building no sooner than 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
- Reminder: Veterans can sign in to www.myhealth.va.gov anytime to send a non-urgent, secure message to your care team. Do not use secure messaging for urgent communication; staff may not be able to respond immediately.
PERMITTED VISITORS AND SUPPORT PERSONS MUST:
- Comply with masking policies.
- Perform hand hygiene when entering the facility, before and after visiting their loved one, and as instructed by staff.
- Wear and remove personal protective equipment if and as instructed by staff.
- Remain in their loved one’s room except to use the nearest restroom. Using a restroom designated for patients is not permitted.
- Refrain from eating or drinking while in the Veteran’s room.
- Exit the facility immediately following the visitation.
- Failure to comply may result in visitation ending immediately.
To get your prescriptions more safely without unnecessary trips into our facilities, please request your medications to be sent through the mail (allow 10 to 14 days for mail to be received). We mail all medications, including refills, and use Priority Express shipping if medically necessary.
If there is a need to come into the facility for pick up for an urgent request, try to make these arrangements in advance. Urgently needed prescriptions are medications that you need immediately.
If you are a Veteran in urgent need of a medication, please contact the pharmacy to arrange for pickup:
- Call 412-360-3389 on weekdays or weekends between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Send a secure message in My HealtheVet to “Ask a Pharmacist.”
Arrangements can be made over the phone or through secure message to pick up medications during our open hours of operations (on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. or on weekends between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
If you call to request an urgently needed medication but do not hear back from the pharmacy before you arrive at the hospital for pickup, pharmacy staff will assist you directly before filling your prescriptions.
Veterans Crisis Line: 988, select 1
VISN 4 Teleurgent Care Line: 1-833-835-3874
Change Your Appointment: 866-482-7488
National Veterans Helpline: 800-507-4571
Patient Locator: 866-482-7488
Pharmacy Refill: 412-822-3140
Staff Locator: 866-482-7488
Telephone Care: 866-482-7488
Local emergency resources
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
Pittsburgh Emergency Management
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT)
Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Services
Allegheny County Emergency Services
Ohio Emergency Management Agency: ODPS