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  WNC-MOAA : Western North Carolina Chapter MOAA COVID-19 Info: Information about the Pandemic

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Charles George VA Medical Center

COVID 19 Update, Friday, September 11, 2020

Virtual Stand Down: Check out this link to our Virtual Asheville Stand Down 2020 that was held today– click each post for video resources.

Inpatient Visitation

As we have closely monitored COVID infection, hospitalization, and death rates in the 23 counties we serve, we have carefully progressed in our Moving Forward plan. With those rates continuing to show improvement and as community hospitals have also progressed, our COVID-19 Workgroup has considered the age and vulnerability of our population and risk to our staff and recommended a gradual re-introduction of visitation to non-COVID inpatients.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020:

* Inpatients on Med/Surg and ICU are permitted one visitor per day between 3 and 6 p.m. only.

* Visitors must remain masked and must remain in the room with the Veteran they are visiting.

* Providers will inform families of this policy and the family will designate the one visitor for the day. (Not one at a time—ONE visitor for that day)

* Visitors will be screened at the door as are Veterans, and visitors with questionable screens will not be permitted entry.

* After screening is closed at the front entrance, visitors will be required to enter through the ED entrance to the atrium and directly to the patient’s room.

It is important to note:

* COVID visitation will be at the discretion of providers/nursing and limited to end-of-life compassionate visitation.

* VA has identified both CLC and Inpatient Mental Health populations as vulnerable populations and visitation will continue to be restricted in these areas and will only expand as VA guidance advances those possibilities.

* Visitors may enter through the Atrium entrance but exit through the ED and may need re-direction to the parking lot.

* Visitors not adhering to the movement and mask requirements should be given a courteous warning to comply and should be asked to exit the facility for repeated failure to adhere to visiting guidelines.

We appreciate the efforts that all inpatient staff have made to assist Visitors in communicating virtually with our Veterans during this time.

Flu Shots are more important than ever

It is especially important this year to receive your flu shot as this flu season coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting Monday, Sept. 14, all enrolled Veterans in the Western North Carolina VA Health Care System will have the opportunity to receive a free flu shot.

There are three opportunities to receive your flu shot:

Option 1: Scheduled appointments. If you already have a scheduled appointment, you may receive your flu shot at that time. Includes Primary Care, Specialty Care Clinics and the Franklin, Hickory and Rutherford County Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs).

Option 2: New This Year… Flu Shot “Drive Thru” Clinic. Flu shots will be available curbside during designated times (see table below) at the Charles George VA Medical Center and Rutherford County, Franklin, and Hickory CBOCs.

Option 3: Community Care Network: Starting Sept. 1, enrolled Veterans (active within the past 24 months) can receive a flu shot through the Community Care Network (CCN). CCN retail pharmacies or urgent care/walk-in care (standalone visit) will provide flu shots at no cost with no co-payment. Retail pharmacy examples are CVS Pharmacy and Walmart Pharmacy.

We look forward to serving you and providing a flu shot at your earliest convenience!


[Drive-through Flu Shots]

Veteran Drive-Thru Flu-Shot Clinic Schedule

Charles George VA Medical Center

Sept. 21 through 25, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 through Oct. 2, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Every Wednesday and Friday in October (Oct. 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 & 30) from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (*Saturday)

Franklin CBOC

Sept. 22 and 28, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sept. 25, 8 a.m. to noon

Oct. 6, 8 & 15, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hickory CBOC

Sept. 22, 24 and 29, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Oct. 1, 6, 8, 13 & 15, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Oct. 7 and 14, 8 a.m. to noon

Rutherford County CBOC

(in Forest City)

Sept. 22 and 28, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sept. 25, 8 a.m. to noon

Oct. 6, 8 and 15, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

[Frequently Asked Questions]

What to Expect at the Flu Shot Drive-Thru Clinic.

Q. Do I need an appointment?

A. No appointment required.

Q. Can I receive the high-dose vaccine?

A. Yes, if you are 65 years or older, you will be offered the high-dose vaccine.

Q. What should I wear?

A. On the day of the clinic, we ask that you please wear a loose-fitting short sleeve shirt (or tank top), as you will need to roll up your sleeve.

Q. What can I expect?

A. You will receive a handout about the influenza vaccine and a list of allergy questions. The nurse will administer a flu shot while you sit in your vehicle. For everyone’s safety, please stay in your car. After receiving the flu shot, you will be directed to a parking area to wait 15 minutes for monitoring. Although rare, allergic reactions can occur.

Q. What special precautions will be used to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

A. You will be asked COVID-19 screening questions. You must wear a face mask at all times. You will remain in your car at all times. All staff will be wearing a face mask, face shield and gloves. Frequent hand washing and keeping surfaces clean



Community Care Questions

Q. Do I need an appointment?

A. No appointment or referral is required.

Q. Do I need to bring my VHIC card?

A. Yes, you should tell the in-network community care staff that you are an eligible Veteran who is enrolled with the VA and show a government-issued identification (e.g., Veterans Health Identification Card or driver’s license).

Q. When can I get my flu shot in the community?

A. Starting Sept. 1

Q. Where in the community can I get my flu shot?

A. Click on the below link for participating community pharmacy or urgent care community provider (must be part of VA’s network).

VA Facility Locator

Q. Are there instructions on how to locate a participating pharmacy or urgent care provider?

A. After clicking on VA Facility Locator weblink:

* Under “Choose a Facility Type,” Select the urgent care or pharmacy drop down

* Enter your ZIP Code

Q. If I have questions or need help with the weblink, who do I contact?

A. Call the Office of Community Care National Contact Center at (877) 881-7618.

Q. Can I receive the high-dose flu shot at my community pharmacy or urgent care?

A. We cannot guarantee the high-dose vaccine will be available at your local pharmacy or urgent care. Flu vaccine manufacturers may differ from what is provided at the VA, as not all flu vaccines are made by the same company.

Q. Do I need to provide my Primary Care Team with documentation that I received the flu shot in the community?

A. Yes. If you receive a flu shot outside the VA, please ask for a copy of your vaccination record. Please telephone your Primary Care Clinic and provide them with the name of the pharmacy and the date you received a flu shot. You can also send a Secure Message via MyHealtheVet and provide the same information.


Disclaimer: The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products or services on the part of the VA.

News Releases:

The country makes a milestone commitment to prioritize suicide prevention for Veterans and all Americans PRESS RELEASE

- The President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) Office and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today 42 states and one U.S. territory signed the PREVENTS state proclamation pledging their prioritization of suicide prevention for Veterans and all citizens in their jurisdictions.

Secretary Wilkie Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators Urging House Action on Veterans Suicide Prevention Legislation


- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie today released the following statement after a bipartisan group of more than 30 senators called on House leaders to pass S. 785, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, which would expand mental health resources for Veterans both inside and outside VA.

New study shows Veterans give VA health care facilities and VA community provider network high marks PRESS RELEASE

- A recently published study shows Veterans receiving outpatient care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities or community providers within VA’s network are pleased with their experience overall.