Pam Crowell said the Sheridan VA’s response to COVID-19 has been very similar in many ways to that of Sheridan Memorial Hospital.
Crowell, who’s director of the Sheridan VA Healthcare System, outlined what the VA has done in response to the virus at this week’s legislative forum.
Crowell said at first the VA wasn’t asking staff or veterans to wear masks, but now they are. She said the VA has been limiting the number of residential treatment program veterans allowed on the campus.
She said the VA now has testing capability, so the facility has started readmitting veterans into the residential treatment program. But, she said, while the VA is admitting patients from its own in-patient unit, the facility has again pulled back from admitting veterans from outside the region in anticipation of a COVID-19 surge.
She said the VA has the capability to go up to 20 beds for COVID patients if needed, and the facility can also close another building that was recently opened for another purpose and use that building for a quarantine unit.
Crowell told legislators that she is really proud of the fact that there has not yet been a single positive COVID-19 case in the VA’s long-term care center.
She said there have been VA employees who tested positive for the virus, but it has been kept from the veterans. She said she attributes that to the measures the VA and employees have taken to prevent spread of the disease, including masking, social distancing, hand-washing and cleaning of the facilities.