VA Medical center answers employee safety concerns

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"Policies are changing constantly but we do our best to keep everyone informed."

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM)– Employees at Martinsburg VA Medical Center are raising questions about their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With guidelines changing rapidly as more is discovered about the coronavirus, policies at the VA Medical Center will be constantly updated to ensure full safety measures are met. And to help clear the air, the guidelines are simplified here….

  • Sick staff members are asked to stay home, get medical attention and inform their supervisors of their status.
  • Occupational Health is assisting in tracking employee movements within the hospital to prevent further disease from spreading.
  • There have only been 3 positive cases reported,  2 of them are getting medical attention at home while the 3rd is a patient at the VA Center.
  • Lastly, employees can wear masks but they are limited with care, meaning only to wear them if needed. The VA Center estimates if masks were worn constantly, the supply would be gone in 10 days. So, in order to combine the focus on phases of prevention and the available masks, employees are not required to wear them for their entire shift.

“Lots of two-way communication with our partners in the community and a phased approach weighing the availability of resources, the prevalence of disease in our community and as certain milestones are met, we move from one phase to the next,” said VA Medical Center Chief of Medicine Dr. Michael Zapor.

In addition to more safety regulations for employees, the VA Medical Center is setting up a clinic that will be outside so patients are cleared of COVID-19 before reaching the center. Also, the center is also setting up a drive-thru pharmacy and drive-thru anticoagulation clinic to limit the number of people reaching the center’s doors.

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