Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Update from INOVA Health Care System

INOVA Health Care System

All Inova hospitals and care sites are open and serving patients. Here is the most up to date information on Inova's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Inova's team of clinical experts is up-to-date on developments and CDC guidelines, and has developed a comprehensive response plan to maintain the safety and well-being of our community.

What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

  • Seek advice from your regular healthcare provider to determine if a medical evaluation is needed; 
  • If you feel it is an emergency and you cannot wait, contact a local urgent care center or emergency room. Ask for instructions regarding accessing the facility;
  • Practice "social distancing" by avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible;
  • If you are experiencing a fever or symptoms of respiratory infection, such as cough or difficulty breathing, or had exposure to a COVID-19 patient and traveled to a high-risk area classified by the CDC, please contact Inova at 855-IMG-DOCS so we can assist you with recommendations and arrange a clinic appointment if indicated. Please do not show up at an Inova site for COVID-19 screening without calling ahead. After clinic hours, please call ahead to one of Inova's nine urgent care centers before visiting.

Is COVID-19 testing available through Inova?

Yes, testing is available across the Inova Health System based on clinical criteria outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health. 

Starting Wednesday, March 25, Inova Urgent Care (UCC) locations at Dulles South, North Arlington and Tysons will staff Respiratory Illness Clinics to evaluate all patients with respiratory illness symptoms. Our three clinics will also be able to collect via physician ordered vehicle-side appointments samples for COVID-19 testing.

Before visiting any Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic, take the following steps:

  • Contact your regular physician for evaluation.  For assistance with recommendations, to arrange for a physician appointment, or if you do not have a primary care physician, call 1-855-IMG-DOCS.
  • Your regular physician can evaluate your symptoms to determine if testing is indicated based on COVID-19 testing criteria and provide a testing order, or refer you to the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic for evaluation.
  • Upon arrival at the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic, a clinician will greet the patient at their vehicle to collect samples for a physician-ordered test, or escort the patient into the respiratory clinic for evaluation.
  • For patients who undergo COVID-19 testing, a UCC nurse will contact those whose results are negative. For patients with positive results, a UCC nurse will coordinate with the patient's regular physician for notification and further instructions. Patients who are tested can expect results in roughly 4-7 days.

Addresses and contact information for the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinics are as follows: 

Inova Urgent Care – Dulles South
24801 Pinebrook Rd. #110
Chantilly, VA 20152
703-722-2500

Inova Urgent Care – N. Arlington
4600 Lee Hwy.
Arlington, VA  22207
571-492-3080

Inova Urgent Care – Tysons
8357 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
571-665-6440

Inova Urgent Care Center at North Arlington and Tysons will operate exclusively as respiratory illness clinics.  All our other urgent care centers, including Inova Urgent Care – Dulles South, remain open to see all patients from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily, including weekends. They can be found at www.inova.org/urgentcare.

How can the public help Inova during this time?

Inova is currently experiencing a shortage of blood supply and inventory is expected to continue to drop with the shortage of donors due to COVID-19.  Inova Blood Donor Services has implemented extra precautions to protect donors - it is safe to give blood, and your donation will save a life.  Make an appointment at www.inovablood.org or 800-BLOOD-SAVES.

Additionally, individuals and businesses across our region have been extremely generous in offers for support, small and large.  Inova has established a centralized online resource for opportunities for community support linked here.

Visitation

Inova Health System has suspended all in-person visitation and is encouraging video meetings between patients and loved ones. Understanding that a family member, caregiver or visitor may be crucial for clinical and patient care, exceptions to Inova's Visitation Guidance can be made in extenuating circumstances. For more information on Inova's visitation policy, follow this link.

Telemedicine

With the philosophy of trying to limit risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19 and to help our clinicians with greater flexibility to safely treat our patients, Inova has adopted a system-wide initiative that will allow patients to receive a wider range of healthcare services without having to travel to an Inova healthcare facility. Inova is currently offering the option for appointments to be conducted via telemedicine (video or phone), with flexibility to meet in person if a clinician determines necessary.

How can I protect myself?

The best way to protect yourself and your community against the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus by:

  • Practicing good hand hygiene,
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the using the inside of your elbow,
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick by practicing social distancing of six feet or more,
  • Cleaning high-touch surfaces regularly, and
  • Staying home if you feel sick.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

  • Virginia Department of Health website on coronavirus 
  • Fairfax County website on coronavirus
  • City of Falls Church website on coronavirus
  • CDC website on coronavirus
  • World Health Organization website on coronavirus
  • Washington Post website on cases in the DMV area


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