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

 

Work Status for Employees

Situation Update

As of Tuesday, February 16, 2021 2:01 PM EST

Director statement regarding reporting for duty:
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 https://www.va.gov/covid19screen/650.

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Update:

The VA Providence Healthcare System is pleased to announce that we received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in addition to the Moderna vaccine. This will significantly expand our capacity to provide vaccinations to our Veteran patients.

  • Enrolled Veterans are now receiving COVID-19 vaccinations based on the VA distribution plan and vaccine availability, starting with those at highest risk of severe illness
  • The VA Providence HCS is currently vaccinating approximately 11,000 Veteran patients who are 75 years and older, and those who are: on dialysis, transplant patients, institutional chemotherapy patients, or in group living situations, such as nursing homes and homeless shelters
  • To date, we've provided vaccinations to more than 3,400 Veterans, since we started Jan. 6
  • The next group will be Veterans over 65
  • There is no need to call for an appointment – we will contact our patients directly when scheduling Veterans in their risk category
  • Now we are reaching out to schedule appointments using VEText, as well, which will allow Veterans to schedule their own appointments automatically!
  • We strongly believe that reaching out to Veterans and scheduling them based on their risk is the safest and fairest way to proceed while we have a limited supply of the vaccine
  • The goal is to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations to all enrolled Veterans as soon as sufficient supply is available
  • Lean more about COVID-19 vaccinations at https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/

Learn more about VEText at https://www.va.gov/HEALTH/VEText.asp

Mask and eye protection guidance:

  • Staff are no longer requiring eye protection in non-clinical areas
  • In inpatient and outpatient clinical areas, staff are required to use face shields or goggles that form a protective seal around the eyes, in addition to approved masks
  • Wearing a multi-layered cloth face mask or medical mask is required in all shared areas of VA Providence Healthcare System facilities – approved masks will be provided if necessary
  • Bandanas, gaiters, single-layer cloth masks or masks with a valve are not approved and cannot be worn in any VA Providence HCS facilities

Administrative Guidance

If you have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath:
  • Don’t come in to your on-station worksite
  • Call your doctor
  • Notify Employee Health at 401-273-7100 ext. 12260 or 14132
  • 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 https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline
  • 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 Caitlin Oliveira, LICSW, Chief, Social Work Service, 401-273-7100 ext. 16101 or Caitlin.oliveira@va.gov
  • 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 Rotunda.East@va.gov
  • 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 Lucy.Ramos@va.gov, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at https://www.thehotline.org or 800-799-7233

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.