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Augusta Health discusses preparations for coronavirus

augusta healthThe Shenandoah Valley appears to be a low-risk area for novel coronavirus, but Augusta Health is signaling that it is ready in the event the virus spreads.

Augusta Health reported Monday that its staff meets regularly to discuss and drill emergency preparedness, including emerging pathogens such as coronavirus. The framework is in place to address any emerging pathogen or unknown illness.

Because viruses can morph and change, Augusta Health’s approach may change as the situation evolves.

In the meantime, Augusta Health is following the Virginia Department of Health and CDC guidance.

To date, specific preparations have included:

  • Meetings of the Emerging Pathogens Committee.
  • Ensured adequate level of supplies.
  • Notification to all medical staff, including community-based physicians, of practices and guidelines to manage potential patients who may arrive in a physician practice, Urgent Care or the Emergency Department. This includes two written Assessment Forms (one for the Emergency Department and the other for Urgent Care/Physician Practice) to be used to evaluate patients who have symptoms of coronavirus AND have traveled to China in the 14 days before symptoms or have had close contact with a person being evaluated for coronavirus.
  • Direct contact with the Central Shenandoah Health District for guidances.

Any suspected cases of coronavirus will be immediately reported to Virginia Department of Public Health. Questions regarding suspected cases or specific patients will be referred to public health offices.

Virginia Department of Public Health has developed a novel coronavirus webpage to keep all informed:  http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/.

To prevent any respiratory virus, people should wash their hands frequently; avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; cover sneezes and coughs and stay home when sick.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press