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West Texas VA Clinics navigate COVID-19 protocols

The group's Interim Director said these protocols, procedures and plans for COVID-19 are changing at a rapid pace.

BIG SPRING, Texas — Like everyone in healthcare, the West Texas VA Clinics are doing their part to protect their patients and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Since the outbreak, they've been screening everyone who walks in at any entrance. 

The Interim Director of this group said they are even taking staff's temperatures and checking in with them before they enter the community living center.

They've also informed all the veterans they serve about the virus. 

"We've done a couple calls to all the veterans enrolled in our care as well as a text that went out with just some general information in VA's resource page about the coronavirus, but if folks are enrolled in My Healthy Vet, we're able to push information out to them much more specifically," Interim Director Jason Cave said. 

My Healthy Vet is a web portal vets can use to send secure messages to their primary care team if they need anything. 

"We were fortunate to have already laid the foundation for telehealth and telemedicine in advance of course, long before this outbreak occurred," Cave said. 

They're encouraging veterans to switch over to telehealth if they haven't already. 

As far as protocol for any presumptive positive screenings, the VA said they will work directly with the Texas State Department of Health to assess next steps on a case by case basis. 

They've also identified isolation spots in rooms at each clinic location for any presumptive positive screenings. 

Cave compares what we're going through now to WWII.

"It's very similar to that now. It's just that it's not that battle ground in the traditional sense. This time it's social distancing, hand hygiene, taking care of yourself, your family and your community," Jason said. 

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