COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Patients and Visitors - VA Maryland Health Care System
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VA Maryland Health Care System

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Patients and Visitors

Updated March 26, 2020

The following are the safeguards that we have put in place to protect you and others from the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to maintain a safe and healthy environment:


  • Closing of Outpatient Clinics

    • Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, all VA Maryland Health Care System outpatient clinics will be closing temporarily to protect against the spread of COVID-19. This includes the Primary Care Clinics at the Baltimore, Loch Raven and Perry Point VA Medical Centers (VAMC) and all services at the Cambridge, Eastern Baltimore County, Fort Meade, Glen Burnie and Pocomoke City VA Outpatient Clinics.
    • All routine outpatient clinic visits will be conducted via a telephone or video visit or rescheduled as appropriate, except for oncology, radiation oncology and other specialty care clinic visits that are medically necessary. You will be contacted by your clinical team if you are still scheduled for a face-to-face visit.
    • All elective surgeries and procedures, except for emergencies and care that needs immediate attention, are being cancelled.
  • Closing of Baltimore VA Annex

    • The Baltimore VA Annex is temporarily closed and all patient care services is being moved to the Baltimore VA Medical Center (VAMC) or they will be conducted by telephone or video visits. Here are more details about this transition:
    • Walk-in Homeless Services are moving to Room 6A-200 on the 6th floor at the Baltimore VAMC.
    • To contact the VA Homeless Hotline, please call 877-424-3838.
    • Walk-in Urgent Mental Health Services are available in the Mental Health Triage Clinic at the Baltimore VAMC in 6A-101A on the 6th floor.
    • To contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, please call 800-273-8255 and Press 1.
  • Mail-Order Prescriptions Only    

    • Pharmacy has switched to all mail-order prescriptions in order to limit exposure to COVID-19. The Outpatient Pharmacies at the Baltimore and Perry Point VAMC will ONLY honor emergent prescription needs for in-person pick up. Emergent prescriptions include post-surgical, emergency department and discharge medication needs. All other medications and supplies will be mailed. Please allow 7 to 10 days for prescription delivery. Veterans have the following options to refill their prescriptions:
      • By calling the Prescription Refill Line at 410-605-7395. After hearing the greeting, enter your full nine-digit Social Security number followed by the “#” sign. Next, press option “2” for Pharmacy Information, and then press option “1” to order prescription refills.
      • By completing and signing the refill request slip you received with your prescription and using the mailing label that was included to send it in to one of our two pharmacies.
      • By submitting a refill request through My HealtheVet at www.myhealth.va.gov
  • Additional Closures and Operational Changes

    • The main entrance to the Perry Point VA Medical Center (VAMC) is closed. Follow the orange detour signs to get to the truck entrance.
    • The entrance to the Baltimore VAMC Emergency Department (ED) is closed. Anyone visiting the ED for treatment must enter through the front entrance. Those coming via ambulance will use the ambulance bay doors.
    • Valet parking has been suspended at the Baltimore VAMC, but self-parking is available.
    • The bridge between the Baltimore VAMC and University is closed, except for official use.
    • For the Loch Raven VAMC entrance, use the Loch Raven Community Living Center entrance.
    • All gymnasiums throughout the health care system have been closed.
    • Chapel gatherings have been suspended, but the chapels are open for prayer.
    • The Canteen Cafeterias are open for carry out meal service only. The dining areas are closed until further notice, but the retail stores remain open.
  • Screenings

    • Anyone one entering any VA Maryland Health Care System facility (including the Baltimore parking garage) will be screened using Coronavirus-related questions.
  • COVID-19 Testing

    • The VA Maryland Health Care System is currently only offering COVID-19 testing for hospitalized patients who meet specified criteria. COVID-19 testing is not currently offered for outpatients or walk-in patients.
  • Please Remember

    • If you have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, call the Telephone Care Line at 800-865-2441, and press 1 before coming to a VA facility.
    • Please, no visitors for inpatients, except for patients being discharged and at the discretion of the treatment team on a case-by-case basis.
  • Important Telephone Numbers 

    • Telephone Care Line: If you need medical advice, call the Telephone Care Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-865-2441 and Press 1.
    • Medical Emergencies:  If you are having a medical or mental health emergency, dial 911 immediately.
    • Veterans Crisis Line: If you are a Veteran in crisis, there are specially trained responders ready to help you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 800-273-8255 and Press 1.
  • Stay Informed

    • To receive the latest COVID-19 information from the VA Maryland Health Care System, enroll for our E-News Subscription Service. To enroll, visit www.maryland.va.gov and enter your email address under “Subscribe to Receive Email Updates” on our homepage. 
    • You can also receive COVID-19-updates by calling our VA Maryland Health Care System COVID-19 Information Line at 410-605-7384. (This is a recording only and does not accept voicemails.)
    • For the latest guidance from VA about the Coronavirus, visit www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus