Current Operating Status - San Francisco VA Health Care System
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San Francisco VA Health Care System

 

Current Operating Status

Situation Update

As of Wednesday, July 1, 2020 11:08 AM PDT

Updated Wednesday, July 1 at 9 a.m.

In alignment with California’s multi-phase approach to the gradual lifting of restrictions placed on communities and businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19, the San Francisco VA Health Care System has started to slowly and safely expand services and operations. We are beginning to resume select services, such as certain elective procedures and specialty care appointments. Patients will be contacted by our care teams to schedule these appointments. As we proceed in resuming full operations, it is important that we continue to take precautions to limit exposure to - and the spread of - COVID-19 to protect our patients and employees.

While we always strive to provide a clean environment, we are taking additional measures, such as frequent cleaning of high-touch areas like doorknobs, handrails, countertops and vinyl seating, as well as removing magazines and other paper documents from waiting areas. Rigorous cleaning will continue in inpatient areas. As a reminder, washing your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) is still the best way to clean your hands. However, if that is not possible, additional hand hygiene stations are located throughout our facilities.

The following safety measures have been implemented at the San Francisco VA Medical Center until further notice:

(Click a link below to jump to a topic)

Stay home and Phone | Appointments | Surgeries
Entry to the San Francisco VA Medical Center and Clinics | Face Mask Policy
Screenings | Visitor Policy | Medical Emergencies
Shuttles To/From the SFVAMC | Veterans Crisis Line | CBOCs

Stay Home and Phone

We continue to limit the number of patients who come to our facilities for health care. We encourage Veterans to use our virtual care options (Telehealth, VA Video Connect) for specialty care, primary care and mental health services. Patients who need an in-person appointment will be scheduled by their care team.

Veterans with pressing needs that require same-day care can now request a virtual urgent care visit with a SFVAMC Emergency Department provider through Express Care. Express Care visits are available only for certain cases including, but not limited to, cough, skin rash or urinary symptoms. Express Care is not intended to treat medical emergencies. Learn more. If you are having a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

Appointments

Patients who require in-person appointments are being contacted by their primary care teams for scheduling. Veterans should arrive at the facility no earlier than 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment time in to avoid overcrowding of waiting areas. If Veterans arrive sooner, they may be asked to wait in their vehicles.

We made changes to waiting areas, check-in desks and other common spaces to encourage physical distancing. Please stay at least six feet away from others at all times. Additional space between seating, plexiglass panels, limited elevator capacity, visual markings on floors are just a few of the changes you will notice at our facilities.

Surgeries

We have resumed scheduling elective surgeries and procedures. All pre-procedural (aerosol-generating and high-risk, due to close/prolonged contact with oral/nasal airway), newly admitted, transferred and symptomatic patients will undergo COVID-19 testing.

Entry to the San Francisco VA Medical Center and Clinics

Only patients with clinic appointments or emergency needs will be allowed into the medical center or community-based outpatient clinics.

All entering SFVAHCS facilities must follow the required precautions below:

  • Wear face covering. See Face Mask policy below.
  • Participate in checkpoint health screening.
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Perform hand hygiene as directed.
  • Follow directions of VA employees.
  • Keep visits as short as possible.

Caregivers who drive patients to appointments will not be permitted to accompany Veterans inside VA facilities unless medically required.

All patients and visitors to SFVAMC must enter through Building 200. Click here for a campus map.

Patients requesting to visit Member Services, Cashier/Billing, or the Travel Office will not be allowed in the facility and will be provided with a Member Services handout with instructions.

Valet parking services have been suspended at the San Francisco VA Medical Center until further notice. Self-parking is available. See “Visitor Policy” below for information on entry for outpatient caregivers and inpatient visitors.

Face Mask Policy

Everyone is required to wear a face covering in our facilities. Patients and their caregivers are permitted to wear homemade or cloth masks if they are clean and fully cover the lower part of the face (nose to chin). If they do not have a mask upon entry, VA will provide one.

Screenings

To ensure the safety of all who enter our facilities, Veterans, staff, trainees, contractors and caregivers will answer health screening questions before entering the Medical Center or one of our community-based outpatient clinics.

Visitor Policy

To protect our patients, employees and trainees, the following visitor policy is in effect at the Medical Center and at our community-based outpatient clinics.

  • No visitors are allowed in most cases. Please see Visitor Policy Exceptions below. 
  • Veterans without scheduled appointments requesting to visit the Canteen or Retail Store will not be allowed entry.

Visitor Policy Exceptions

We understand there are times when having a visitor or family member present is necessary. For this reason, below are exceptions to our visitor policy.  

Inpatient visitors are allowed for:
  • Patients in acute care or Community Living Center hospice. Two identified visitors per visit. Only one visitor allowed at a time in patient room.
  • Seriously ill patients (non-COVID-19 or PUI patients) who are expected to die within a short period of time (i.e., within 48 hours as determined by their medical provider).

Outpatient visitors are allowed for:
  • Patients requiring a family member/caregiver to receive discharge or post-op instructions, which cannot be given via telephone. One family member/caregiver allowed during the discharge process. Visitors must be on the daily list of allowed visitors.
  • Patients with physical and/or cognitive conditions, disruptive behavior, altered mental status, developmental delays (where the caregiver provides safety), or where a family member is key to their stabilizatsion. One visitor per patient.

Visitors must not:
  • have symptoms of illness (fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath).
  • be under the age of 18.

Medical Emergencies

If you are experiencing a medical or mental health emergency, dial 911 immediately. The Emergency Department at the San Francisco VA Medical Center is open 24/7. If you are able, please call 800-733-0502 before visiting the SFVAMC Emergency Department.

Prescriptions

Patients with non-urgent prescription needs should reorder medications online, by phone or by mail. Please allow five to seven business days for delivery. The outpatient pharmacy at the Medical Center remains open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for urgent medication needs.

To refill prescriptions:

      1. Call 1-800-847-3203.
      2. Order online using My HealtheVet at myhealth.va.gov.
      3. Mail your prescription refill request forms to:

        SFVAHCS - Pharmacy 119
        4150 Clement St.
        San Francisco, CA 94121.

 

Patients picking up medications only:

      1. Can call pharmacy first to activate their medications
      2. Will be provided instructions/slip on how to call Pharmacy (415-750-6937).
      3. Can wait in their vehicles until medications are ready.

Shuttles to/from the SFVAMC

All shuttle riders will be screened prior to boarding. Patients must show proof – text, email, postcard - of an appointment. Physical shields, such as sneeze guards which separate the driver from passengers, have been installed on our shuttles. Seating has been staggered to ensure physical distancing.

Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC)

The following safety measures have been implemented at our six community-based outpatient clinics in Downtown San Francisco, San Bruno, Eureka, Santa Rosa, Ukiah and Clearlake until further notice:

      • Walk-in services are limited at this time, and appointments are required for non-emergencies.
      • Face-to-face visits are being limited, and patients will be seen based on urgency.
      • Virtual care options will be used whenever possible and appropriate.
      • Universal masking policy for everyone at all times within the facility.
      • Mandatory screening and hand sanitizing of everyone – patients, caregivers, employees, contractors, etc. - prior to entering all facilities.
      • Staggered appointment schedules will be implemented to ensure limited congestion in waiting areas.
      • Patients should not arrive more than 30 minutes prior to their appointments to avoid overcrowding in the waiting areas. Patients may be asked to wait in their cars should they arrive earlier.
      • COVID-19 testing is available by appointment only – no walk-ins - to patients scheduled for surgery or a procedure.
      • Appointments for Laboratory services are required at the following clinics:
        • Santa Rosa. 707-569-2300
        • Ukiah. 707-468-7700
        • Clearlake. 707-995-7200

Veterans Crisis Line

If you are a Veteran in crisis, there are specially trained responders ready to help you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by calling 800-273-8255 and Press 1.



Sign-up for automatic email updates by filling in your email address in the “Emergency Email Updates” section, located at the top right corner of this page.

For up-to-date information about the San Francisco VA, please check this page, the San Francisco VA Facebook page or San Francisco VA Twitter page.

To learn about preparedness kits, family emergency plans and more, please visit www.ready.gov/.

Facility Status

Parent Facility
San Francisco VA Medical Center Notice
The San Francisco VAMC is screening all who enter the facility. Face coverings are required. No visitors are allowed at this time. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis in hospice and palliative care cases.
Outpatient Clinics
Santa Rosa Notice
The Santa Rosa VA CBOC is screening all who enter the facility. Face coverings are required.
Clearlake Notice
The Clearlake VA CBOC is screening all who enter the facility. Face coverings are required.
Downtown Clinic Notice
The San Francisco VA Downtown Clinic is screening all who enter the facility. Face coverings are required.
Eureka Notice
The Eureka VA CBOC is screening all who enter the facility. Face coverings are required.
San Bruno Notice
The San Bruno VA CBOC is screening all who enter the facility. Face coverings are required.
Ukiah Notice
The Ukiah VA CBOC is screening all who enter the facility. Face coverings are required.

Telephone Numbers

  • Emergency: 911
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
  • 24 Hour Nurse: (800) 733-0502
  • Change Your Appointment: (415) 750-2233 or (877) 487-2838
  • Media Inquiries: (415) 750-2012
  • National Veterans Helpline: 1-800-507-4571
  • Patient Locator: (415) 221-4810
  • Pharmacy Refill: (800) 847-3203
  • Staff Locator: (415) 221-4810, ext. 2-2107
  • Telephone Care: (800) 733-0502