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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update 03-18-2020 - Click here

VISN 8 COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Over the weekend, the Florida Department of Health announced two presumed positive cases of Coronavirus in the Tampa Bay area. As a result, Governor DeSantis has declared a public health emergency in Florida. We should expect the number of cases confirmed to increase in the coming days and weeks.

The VISN 8 Network Emergency Management Coordination Center (NEMCC) and our Orlando VA Healthcare System have been activated to prepare and respond to this public health emergency moving forward.

Veterans enrolled for VA care who have symptoms of COVID-19, flu or colds (fever, cough and shortness of breath) are asked to contact the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center at 1—877-741-3400 (toll free) for virtual care, including nurse advice and triage. There is no cost to Veterans enrolled for care in VISN 8 facilities.

All facilities within the network have placed appropriate signage at entrances instructing any individual that has symptoms of COVID-19, flu or cold (fever, cough and shortness of breath) to immediately notify staff, ask for a mask to cover nose and mouth, sanitize hands and follow additional instructions.

Each facility has processes/procedures in place to ensure we maintain sufficient inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) to provide to those who have symptoms and for those who are in immediate contact with a sick patient. Your responsible use of PPE is appreciated to ensure we remain prepared with the supplies and PPE necessary to provide care to Veterans.

The most important thing individuals can do is prevent the spread of any illness by continuing to:

  • Sanitize your hands often with soap and water or alcohol based hand cleaners
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze—throw it away immediately after you use it
  • Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth—Germs often spread this way
  • If you are ill, stay home and if needed call your doctor

For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC website.

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