Work Status for Employees - VA Providence Healthcare System
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VA Providence Healthcare System


Work Status for Employees

Situation Update

As of Friday, November 20, 2020 3:01 PM EST

Director statement regarding reporting for duty:
Please help us limit the spread of COVID-19. Updated procedures and guidelines…

Arrival Information

All employees, WOCs, Fee Basis, Students and Non-Providence Healthcare System VA employees working at VAPHS facilities, which will be collectively be referred to as “staff,” are required to self-screen daily prior to reporting for work – text “screen650” to 53079 or visit

Staff no longer need to participate in temperature screening at the main entrance, but may still participate, if they would like. 

Employees should prominently display their badge when entering VA facilities, so they can be easily identified.

Employees who do not have access to a smartphone or internet will ask themselves the following questions daily (answering “yes” to any of these questions will require a call to your supervisor):

  • In the past 24 hours have you had a fever?
  • In the past 7 days, have you had a cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing that’s new or getting worse?
  • In the past 3 days have you had any of these symptoms?
    • Fever or feeling feverish (chills, sweating)
    • Fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of smell or taste
    • Sore throat
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Do you currently have a runny nose or nasal congestion?
  • Have you had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 that you haven’t already reported to VA occupational/employee health?
  • In the past 14 days, have you traveled outside of New England?

Veterans, volunteers and visitors will still be screened as they have been.

General Operations Information

All staff at VA Providence HCS facilities are expected to wear approved masks and eye protection, which will be provided if necessary:
  • Wearing a multi-layered cloth face mask or medical mask is required. Bandanas, gaiter, single-layer cloth mask, or mask with a valve are cannot be worn in any VA Providence HCS facilities. an essential risk-reduction measure to limit the spread of infectious respiratory droplets
  • Face shields may be used as an alternative for those medically unable to wear a mask
  • Staff are required to use face shields, or goggles that form a protective seal around the eyes, in addition to approved masks

Administrative Guidance

If you have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath:

  1. Don’t come in to your on-station worksite
  2. Call your doctor
  3. Notify Employee Health at 401-273-7100 ext. 12260 or 14132
  4. Call your supervisor for guidance

If you are exposed or otherwise identified as needing testing, please contact Employee Health immediately for guidance: 

  • Please note that you CANNOT be at work on station while you are waiting for test results; ad-hoc telework will be approved as necessary
  • Make sure your supervisor has current contact information for you, so we can reach you if we need to

Other Services

Employee resources for support and counseling include:

  • The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling 24/7 and is confidential, call 800-985-5990, text “TalkWithUs” to 66746, or visit 
  • The Providence VAMC Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, offers free and confidential short-term counseling, referrals and follow-up services. You can request an appointment through the link on the COVID 19 SharePoint, or by contacting Marie L. Sullivan, LICSW, BCD, CCM, Polytrauma/TBI & SCI/ALS Program Coordinator, at 401-273-7100, ext. 13425 or
  • The Providence VAMC Chaplain Service provides spiritual support and counseling for Veterans and staff, and are available at 401-273-7100, ext. 13000, or email Chaplain Rotunda East at
  • The VA Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Assistance Program provides Veterans, their partners, and VA staff with information, resources and support for victims of IPV, their loved ones and caregivers. For more information or assistance, please contact Lucy J. Ramos, LICSW, at Mobile: 401-443-0278 or, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at or 800-799-7233

For details and up-to-date information during our response to COVID-19, you can always visit the employee situation page of the website,, intranet home page,, or the COVID-19 SharePoint page, The VA-wide COVID-19 page on VA Insider is at

During a VA-declared emergency:

VA Employees should return to this page for updates. For more information about this emergency, go to our main Emergency Information page.