More patients being treated for COVID-19 at VA hospital

The Veterans Affairs hospital in Decatur now has nine patients admitted into its COVID-19 treatment area and another 34 patients are being tested.

The patients who are awaiting test results are quarantined at home, according an email sent to staff from the hospital director. A worker shared the email with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the condition of anonymity.

The first two patents arrived March 12. The most recent cases tested positive March 15, according to emails from the director.

The hospital has set aside an intensive care unit to isolate and care for the patients.

When asked for more information about the cases, the VA neither confirmed or denied the information.

The VA nationally has put policies in place to try to slow the spread of the virus.

Anyone with symptoms similar to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, should call the hospital before going to the facility. Those entering the Decatur campus will be pre-screened before entry. The VA asks that veterans coming for regularly scheduled visits arrive early.

People with symptoms of COVID-19 are immediately isolated.

All VA nursing homes, including the one in Decatur, have adopted a no-visitor policy. The only exceptions are for family of veterans in the last stages of life.

All VA nursing homes have also suspended new admissions.

“VA has proactively implemented appropriate measures to ensure the safest health care environment for each veteran, visitor and employee. These measures include multi-channel outreach to Veterans and staff, clinical screening at VA health care facilities, as well as protective procedures for patients admitted to community living centers and spinal cord injury units,” a VA statement said.