Covid-19 Tests Ongoing at Bedford’s Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital

Recent increases in testing kits and reagents for COVID-19 provided the Veterans Health Administration the ability to implement population-based testing of all Veterans in Community Living Center (CLC) units and the employees working in them. Bedford VAMC providers conducted testing of Veterans in the CLCs and Domiciliary this past week after obtaining informed consent. Providers will continue to conduct ongoing screening and testing and notify families of Veterans with the test results.

Editor’s Note: The VA’s Covid-19 National Summary web site listed 123 positive cases and 5 deaths at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital as of 5 pm on April 24, 2020.

Positive test results are considered critical information. Families are notified as soon as possible and involved in decision-making for any changes in treatment plans or locations.

Negative test results are non-urgent, and following feedback from families, our procedure is to notify them between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Results received after 8:00 p.m. will be communicated the next day.

Many of the COVID-19 positive Veterans identified through population-based testing were clinically asymptomatic and 69 percent of Veteran COVID-19 tests have come back with negative results.

Families and health care proxies of Bedford VA’s CLC residents were notified of the construction, the reason for it, and the recent testing of all Veterans during three CLC Family calls held Thursday. Families and HCPs may get information about their individual Veteran by calling the CLC Family Hotline at 781-687-2000, extension 6060, to speak to a Social Worker from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Messages left on the Hotline voicemail outside these hours will be routinely checked and responded to promptly. Families can also request updates via email at vhabedclcfamilies@va.gov.

Bedford VAMC can only share medical information about a resident with the authorized health care proxy on file. If a family member requests an update and is not the health care proxy, the name of the health care proxy will be shared, and it will be suggested that the health care proxy should call and request the update.

The Bedford VA Medical Center’s Incident Command Center continues to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Engineering team has almost completed ‘hardening of the facility’ with anterooms and negative pressure systems in preparation for support of VA’s Fourth Mission.


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