VA Puget Sound Health Care System
Current Operating Status
As of Thursday, January 21, 2021 3:17 PM PST
COVID-19 Update - January 21, 2021
Veterans who have symptoms of COVID-19 such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing that’s new or getting worse, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, current runny nose or nasal congestion or have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, should contact VA Puget Sound before coming to one of our care sites for a scheduled visit. This can be done by sending a secure message through My HealtheVet or by calling 1-800-329-8387. This helps VA Puget Sound protect our Veterans, medical staff, and other patients.
Our goal continues to be to provide every Veteran with a vaccine who wants one.
We continue to follow VA’s Vaccination Plan—https://www.publichealth.va.gov/docs/n-coronavirus/VHA-COVID-Vaccine-Plan-14Dec2020.pdf (page 27 is the risk stratification).
Along with vaccines being administered at our Seattle and American Lake campus, we expect to extend to our Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Silverdale and Mount Vernon by the end of January.
- As of January 19, 2021, Veterans 75 years or older are being actively scheduled now for the vaccine.
- Eligible veterans can call 206-716-5716 to schedule, or contact their primary care team.
- Veterans must be health care eligible to be scheduled for vaccination, but do not need to be enrolled in primary care/Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT).
- No walk-in vaccines, by appointment only.
We continue to proactively contact Veterans to make vaccine appointments when it is their turn, so our policy of no walk-in patients outside of emergent care needs remains in place. In addition to our proactive outreach by phone, our Veterans enrolled with a cell phone number listed in their health record will be notified by text about their ability to get the vaccine, and the Veterans will able to respond to the text to make their appointments.
Despite the fluid nature of the pandemic and the limited amount of the initial vaccine, we continue to work diligently to address the prioritization, scheduling, administration, handling, logistics, allocation, safety, wastage, tracking and distribution strategies for our Veterans and staff.
Patient and staff safety remain paramount, and our rigorous safety measures remain in place:
- 100% screening for signs of COVID-19 infection.
- 100% use of approved face masks for everyone entering and inside any of our care sites (if you don’t have one, we will provide you with one; no medical waivers).
- 100% physical distancing.
- No walk-in patients outside of emergent care needs.
- No routine visitors.
- Inpatient Visits:
- Exceptions must be coordinated with your care team in advance.
- Visits 30 minutes or less unless care team believes longer visit is in best interest of the patient.
- Outpatient Visits:
- Patients can bring one person as an escort for navigation assistance or to provide care support.
- Visitor must stay with the patient throughout visit unless specified otherwise by the health care team.
- Approved Visitors:
- Must be approved by care team in advance of visit.
- Must be at least 18-years-old.
- Must adhere to all safety measures.
- Must use hand gel when entering and exiting a care area.
- Are not allowed in the room during aerosol-generating procedures.
- Inpatient Visits:
- No visitors under 18 allowed, with one exception: American Lake’s Child Care Center.
- Do not leave unaccompanied minors outside during your visit.
- 100% environmental cleaning recommendations as outlined by the CDC.
- Veterans with questions about COVID-19 or vaccination should call 1-800-myVA411 or (1-800-698-2411). press 8 for COVID information or visit www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/
- Veterans seeking additional information should visit the VA Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs webpage.
- VHA Keep Me Informed which allows Veterans to sign up to receive email updates: https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed
You can also get updates on social media: https://www.facebook.com/vapugetsound and https://twitter.com/VAPugetSound. If you would like to receive automated updates via email, please sign up with your email address on our website - https://www.pugetsound.va.gov/index.asp - look under the social media icons on right for "Subscribe to Receive Email Updates."
We also continue to maximize personalized virtual care options. We know these services have been a valuable link to our Veterans during this challenging time, providing increased access to care regardless of where you live. Here are some examples of ways you can access care from home:
- Telephone or Video Appointments: Receive care at home—either over the phone or via video using VA Video Connect on your computers, smartphones or tablets. To set up virtual appointments, send your health care team a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov. While Veterans may also call us at 1-800-329-8387, VA is requesting that Veterans only call with urgent needs at this time.
- Prescription Refills: Veterans can request prescription refills, order and ship medications home using My HealtheVet or Rx Refill mobile app. Download the app at mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill.
- Secure Messaging: With a free My HealtheVet Premium account, Veterans can send secure messages to their health care team online to ask non-urgent health questions, request referrals and send updates about medical conditions. Other tools and services available to Veterans with the Premium account include, ability to access health records, view military service information and ability to join video visits using the VA Appointments tools. There are two ways to register, online or in-person at a VA facility. With the threat of COVID-19, the in-person option has been suspended.
To upgrade online using a VA HealtheVet sign-in partner (DS Logon and ID.me), follow these steps: From the My HealtheVet sign in page, sign in to your Advanced My HealtheVet account using a sign-in partner. Select the Upgrade Now button. Check the certification box to verify account owner. Select Continue. Check the Accept My HealtheVet Terms & Conditions box. Select Continue to complete the upgrade.
- Emergency: 911
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
- 24 Hour Nurse: 1-800-329-8387 (ext. 72273)
- Change Your Appointment: 1-800-329-8387 (ext. 71234)
- Media Inquiries: (206) 764-2317 or (206) 678-7305
- National Veterans Helpline: 1-800-507-4571
- Patient Locator: 1-800-329-8387
- Pharmacy Refill: 1-800-329-8387, Ext. 73000 or Ext. 64000
- Staff Locator: 1-800-329-8387
- Telephone Care: 1-800-329-8387, 72273