Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information - Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
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Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Lovell Federal Health Care Center leaders and providers are monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 and will provide updated information on this page for patients and others who have questions about prevention and treatment.

Background: The global pandemic of respiratory illness caused by a COVID-19 coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Provence, China in late 2019. This new strain belongs to a group of viruses called coronavirus, which can cause symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Specific actions taken by the Department of Veterans Affairs: The VA activated its emergency management coordination cell (EMCC) and is implementing an aggressive and collaborative public health response to protect and care for veterans. VA (to include Lovell FHCC) plans for this type of event and is protecting and caring for veterans who receive their health care from VA.

Specific guidance from the Department of Defense: As COVID-19 continues to spread, the Dept. of Defense has established a Spotlight page to disseminate the latest information on the outbreak and to highlight coordination efforts with other organizations throughout the U.S. government. Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan states that DoD follows guidance by the CDC. 

For a situation summary of COVID-19 coronavirus, please link to the CDC site below:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Although the virus is spreading as expected, the risk remains low for most people, many who are under orders from their governors to self-isolate at home. Take precautions, stay informed and check on those who are in high-risk groups (e.g. older than 50, pre-existing heart and lung conditions, etc.).

What precautions to take when traveling:

The U.S. government has imposed travel restrictions for all non-essential travel to impacted countries. For the latest impacted countries, as identified by the state department, go to: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Notices. FHCC recommends consulting the site and evaluating the risk and benefits of any international travel.

Additionally, U.S. citizens returning from the impacted regions should expect to undergo enhanced screening procedures.
 
What to do if you have symptoms:

If you have both, seek treatment - 

- symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath and
- have either recently returned from an impacted country or have direct exposure to others diagnosed with COVID-19

Call before visiting the Lovell FHCC or another local VA medical center to seek care. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure. 

What other things should I do?  

- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water and avoid sharing drinks and/or utensils.

- Continue to take normal precautions against illness, including the above and by vaccinating yourself against the flu virus, which kills many thousands of people annually.


SPECIAL NOTE: If you are a FHCC staff member and you think you've been exposed and/or you have symptoms, please contact the Occupational Medicine/Employee Health Clinic PRIOR to returning to work, 224-610-4215.

For more information, click on the Resources links at the top, right corner of this page.