FHCC restricts visitors; implements COVID-19 screening - Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
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FHCC restricts visitors; implements COVID-19 screening

March 17, 2020

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NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. – While the Centers for Disease Control still considers COVID-19 to be a low threat to the general public, Lovell Federal Health Care Center is taking extra precautions to protect vulnerable residents of the FHCC Community Living Center and other susceptible patients. 

As part of this process, everyone who enters the hospital will be pre-screened at the entrances listed below. This may lengthen entry times, so patients are advised to allow extra time for appointments.

Per Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance and VA and Department of Defense protocols, individuals known to be at risk for a COVID-19 infection are immediately isolated to prevent potential spread to others.

Patients, volunteers and visitors will only be allowed to enter the hospital through the entrances listed below. Except for those going to Bldg. 131 (Mental Health) and the gym, patients are encouraged to park in the parking garage to avoid long walks to open entrances. (Those going to Bldg. 131 and the gym should park in front of Bldg. 131.)

Open entrances:

·         Ambulatory Care Clinic, Bldg. 133EF, valet parking entrance (weekdays, and this is the primary weekend entrance as well)

·         Emergency Room, Bldg. 133, open 24/7, for emergencies only

·         Bldg. 133CA, Blue Canopy entrance, by Patriot Store (weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends)

·         Bldg. 131, left-side front entrance (gym access)

Staff members will have to show their badges for entry. Patients and visitors also will be screened at FHCC community-based outpatient clinics in Kenosha, WI, and Evanston and McHenry, IL. Those with symptoms of a fever, cough or shortness of breath should call their provider for more information, before visiting the main hospital or a clinic.

Additionally, Lovell FHCC is postponing large-group activities for the near future. Visitors and volunteers, please check the FHCC website (https://www.lovell.fhcc.va.gov/index.asp) and FHCC Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lovellfhcc/) for updated information.

Lovell FHCC is implementing a temporary “No Visitor” stance in its Community Living Center. For details on this and other safeguards to protect CLC patients (including the CLC’s Green House homes), and spinal cord injury patients: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5400

Visiting hours for other parts of the facility will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lovell FHCC Director Dr. Robert Buckley said, “My priority is to ensure all of our staff and patients are protected from exposure and potential spread of this new virus.”

Patients and staff are encouraged to take everyday preventive actions to avoid being exposed to the virus:

·         Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

·         Stay home if you are sick or becoming sick.

·         Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Coronavirus information for Dept. of Defense beneficiaries is at www.TRICARE.mil/coronavirus.

For more general information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

About the Lovell FHCC: The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center is the nation’s only fully integrated medical facility between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. Lovell FHCC serves active duty military personnel, their families and veterans. Lovell FHCC, which is located in North Chicago, operates four Naval Station Great Lakes clinics and three community-based outpatient clinics in McHenry and Evanston, Ill. and Kenosha, Wis.