Federal Manager's Daily Report

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The VA has set a three-level standards system for access to its medical centers based on community transmission levels of the Coronavirus, saying the intent is to “provide a consistent, nationwide approach” on personal protective equipment, screening, testing, visitation, waiting rooms, group care/therapy and staffing aligned with CDC guidance for health care facilities.

The system provides “transparent and flexible guidelines for local facilities to help veterans and staff know what to expect when entering a facility, despite the unpredictability of COVID-19. This allows VHA facilities to provide maximum reliable access to safe, timely and quality care by adjusting safety protocols based on the fluctuation of COVID-19 levels in the community,” an announcement said.

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The levels are: low—visitors are welcome, self-screening allowed and physical distancing not required; medium—care partners are welcome, self-screening is allowed and physical distancing is not required; and high—visitors are limited to the discretion of the care team on a case-by-case basis, facilities may choose to screen at the door and physical distancing is required.

Levels will be monitored weekly and a facility’s status will be announced each Monday through physical signage, postings on facility websites and social media, and on voicemails.

Masking and employee screening testing policies remain unchanged as do requirements regarding testing and masking for employees, it said.

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