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8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

COVID-19 UPDATE – As of April 1, 2020

The Virginia Department of Health has now confirmed patients in Northern Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19. Inova’s multidisciplinary team is continuously monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.

Our dedicated team of experts is up-to-date on developments and CDC guidelines, and has developed a comprehensive response plan to maintain the safety and well-being of our community.

Inova will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.

All Inova hospitals and care sites are open and serving patients.

Update from Inova’s President and CEO, Dr. Stephen Jones – March 23

Motew Minute

Stay tuned to the “Motew Minute” –  a video blog brought to you by Dr. Stephen Motew, Chief, Clinical Enterprise, Inova Health System, providing the latest clinical updates and guidance on Inova’s response to COVID-19. Stephen's goal is to ensure all physicians within our community understand what we’re doing to keep Inova patients, team members and the community safe.  

 

Watch the Motew Minute

Visitor Policy

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020, and community spread of COVID-19 has been declared in Northern Virginia.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 may present in as few as two days or in as many as 14 days after exposure. Illness can be more serious for older adults, individuals with compromised immune systems or those with existing respiratory problems.

How do I know when to see a doctor?

You should only come to the hospital if you are having difficulty breathing or have flu-like symptoms that are not improving. Call your provider before coming to the hospital for guidance on what you should do next. If you are directed to come to the hospital or an outpatient clinic, please call ahead and put on a facemask before leaving your home.

If my doctor determines I need to be tested for COVID-19, is testing available?

Yes, please call your doctor for their procedures on testing after a clinical assessment.

If Inova determines I need to be tested for COVID-19, is testing available?

Does Inova facilitate drive-thru COVID-19 testing?

No, at this time Inova does not offer drive-thru screening and testing.  Inova has explored drive-thru testing, however due to limited testing kits available nationwide, Inova evaluates all patients and ensures necessary testing is conducted while preserving the capability to continue sustained testing.

I’m worried I have COVID-19. Should I go to an Inova Emergency Department to be tested?

As always, if you develop symptoms of a respiratory infection, you should:

  • Be aware of ways to manage respiratory symptoms 
  • Seek advice from your regular healthcare provider to determine if a medical evaluation is needed 
  • Contact a local urgent care center or emergency room if you feel it is an emergency and you cannot wait. Ask for instructions regarding accessing the facility.
  • Inform the operator of your COVID-19 concern if you call 911
  • Practice “social distancing” by avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible

Can I visit someone in the hospital?

Inova Health System has suspended all in-person visitation as of Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 8 p.m.

Community organizations and members have been called to action to encourage social distancing and prevent the continual spread of COVID-19. We are taking this action to provide the highest level of care for our patients, while keeping our team members and community safe. We encourage video meetings between patients and loved ones.

Limited Exceptions

Inova Health System recognizes that a family member, caregiver, or visitor may be crucial for clinical and patient care. We allow visitors for:

  • End-of-life situations.
  • Patients with conditions such as altered mental status, developmental delays, special communication needs or those who have designated a spokesperson, where a caregiver and/or care companion provides safety and enhances the ability to communicate effectively with the care team. That patient may have one visitor.
  • One person may accompany a patient to a hospital or clinic for an outpatient appointment.
  • One person may accompany a patient to an Urgent Care Center or Emergency Room (ER) visit.
  • Please review additional visitation guidance from Inova Children’s Hospital and Women’s Services below.
  • Visitation will not be allowed for suspected or confirmed patients with COVID-19 except for end-of-life situations. Visitors will require temperature screening and appropriate donning of PPE. 

All visitors entering an Inova Health System Care Site will undergo a screening and a temperature check. Individuals answering yes to the screening questions will be asked to postpone their visit. Visitors with a temperature equal or greater than 100.0 degrees F will be advised to contact their medical provider and return when they are symptom-free.

Family members or friends will not be allowed to wait in lobbies or common areas such as chapels, cafeterias, food courts, banks or any other area within the care site.

Care sites will determine optimal implementation of Inova Health System’s Visitation Guidance.

Exceptions to Inova Health System’s Visitation Guidance can be made in extenuating circumstances and with prior approval from a care site’s administration.

Our visitation guidance remains in effect until further notice.

See Also:

Visitor Restrictions: Women’s and Childbirth Services at all Inova Hospitals

Visitor Restrictions: Inova Children's Hospital

How will Inova keep me safe from contracting COVID-19 during my emergency room visit, surgery or procedure?

  • Inova has been preparing for COVID-19 for months and continues to review, revise and implement all infection prevention and control measures established by the CDC and state/local health agencies to provide care in the safest of environments.
  • All clinical care providers will wear a surgical mask when caring for patients.
  • All Inova team members will participate in twice daily symptom and temperature checks.
  • Clinical care providers will use social distancing and technology to help minimize close contact.
  • We are screening all patients and visitors at registration/check-in or by phone prior to their entry at our facilities and we are taking appropriate action.
  • Potential COVID-19 patients are given face masks and placed into isolation immediately.
  • Patients with infectious diseases remain isolated in their room at all times. Treatment comes to them.  
  • The equipment used to care for these patients is not shared with any other patient.
  • Our team members treat respiratory viruses and infectious diseases every day while keeping our patients, visitors and themselves safe.

Can I still donate blood?

Inova Blood Donor Services has experienced great community support combined with low usage, which means our community’s blood supply is doing well right now. However, this could change. The need for blood is continual and the supply changes daily depending on collections and patient needs. Additionally, donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days and donated platelets have a shelf life of 5 days.

Sign up to donate blood

Inova Blood Donor Services needs donors to sign up now for an appointment to donate blood during the next six weeks at a Donor Center location.

With community support over the coming weeks, we can work together to continue to maintain a safe, pure, potent and steady blood supply. The need for blood never goes away.

What are steps I can take to protect my health?

  • Infection prevention for any illness begins with good personal hygiene practices including hand washing (20 seconds with soap and water), disinfecting work and food preparation surfaces, minimizing touching your face and avoiding close proximity with anyone who is ill and exhibiting symptoms. Consider acknowledging people verbally instead of shaking hands or hugging, and be mindful of infection due to opening doors, pressing elevator buttons, using the telephone and handling menus at restaurants.
  • It is not too late to get a flu vaccine. It is still flu season and Virginia is currently considered widespread in the state. This vaccine will not protect you from COVID-19, but the flu is currently a greater threat to the public than COVID-19.
  • There is no need for individuals in the general public to wear facial masks. Individuals who are sick with respiratory symptoms should stay home. If you must leave home for any reason, including to receive medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading illness to other. A mask will help prevent an ill person from spreading the virus, but will not protect a healthy person from exposure.
  • Get the pneumonia vaccine if you are eligible. This is recommended for adults 65 and older, individuals between 2 and 26 with certain health conditions and adults 19-64 who smoke cigarettes. This vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19 but will lower your risk of bacterial infection.
  • The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to numerous countries. The State Department announced a "Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisory warning U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel. Individuals who have chronic medical conditions should consider postponing non-essential travel to most global destinations. For more travel guidelines, check the CDC website.
  • Create an emergency plan of action. Public health officials may recommend community actions based on the severity of a pandemic outbreak that will limit exposure, such as avoiding large gatherings. Develop a household plan to ensure preparedness based on your daily needs and routine, including food and supplies, care arrangements for children, elders and pets, and assuring you have enough critical prescription medications.

COVID-19: How Can I Help?

Times like this reinforce that your dedication to Inova allows us to provide world-class care every day no matter what the situation – we are most grateful.

For ways to help, please reference our website.

 

While Inova hospitals and care sites are open and serving patients, we have taken the step of cancelling public events and classes in order to protect the safety of our caregivers, patients, team members and the community.

Event and Class Cancellations

All Inova public classes and events have been postponed through May 1, 2020, with re-evaluation at that time. When available, it is our intention to provide updates about all scheduled events.

This action is being taken as a precaution to assure the health and well-being of attendees, event staff and the community at large. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Cancer Services

  • All Life with Cancer groups, classes, acupuncture and massage appointments are canceled until further notice. Please know that individual counseling appointments and individual consultations will continue to be offered. However, when you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked several health screening questions based off of the CDC guidelines. You also have the option of connecting to Life with Cancer staff for counseling or education by phone or secure telehealth. Please call 703-206-5433 for further information.
  • Inova Schar Cancer Institute and Life with Cancer® Colorectal Cancer Symposium on March 23, 2020 has been canceled.

Cardiac Rehab

Based on the recommendations of the CDC and ACC to limit outpatient elective services, maintain safe social distancing, and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, Inova's Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Departments will be closed as of 6 p.m. on March 17.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

The following events have been canceled:

  • Regional CME events for March
  • Inova Neurocritical Care Conference (scheduled for March 13)
  • Inova Pulmonary and Critical Care Conference (scheduled for March 20)
  • Innovations in Wound Management (scheduled for March 28)
  • Inova Cherry Blossom Cardiovascular Symposium (scheduled for April 23-24)
  • 4th Annual National Neuroscience Review (scheduled for April 24)
  • Inova Sports Medicine Summit 2020 (scheduled for May 1)

Virtual options are being explored for April and May’s regional CME events. More information will be disseminated as it becomes available.

We encourage remote attendance at Grand Rounds and other regularly scheduled series where possible. Each department should utilize their Go to Meeting option and can still obtain CME credit on ICMES.

If there is a need to further cancel events in the future as the system monitors COVID-19 cases the information will be disseminated as it becomes available.

If you have questions or if the CME office can assist in any way please contact us at cme@inova.org.

Heart & Lung Transplant / VAD Support Groups

The April 7 and May 5 support groups have been canceled. Call 703-776-7076 with questions.

Inova Cares Clinic for Children

Inova Cares Clinic for Children will be cancelling all walk-in clinics until further notice. We will be adding extra regular appointments to accommodate patient needs. Please call the clinic to schedule an appointment.

Please call / Por favor llama 703-531-3100.

La Clinica Inova Cares para Ñinos no tendra consultas sin cita hasta nuevo aviso. Tendremos mas citas regulares para acomodar las necesidades de nuestros pacientes. Por favor llame a la clinica para hacer una cita.

Inova Fairfax Medical Campus

  • Stop the Bleed community training event at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus on March 25, 2020 has been canceled.

Inova Loudoun Hospital

  • Inova Loudoun Hospital North Tower Open House on March 28, 2020 has been canceled.
  • Ladies Board Gift Shop will be closed until April 25, 2020.
  • Thursday, March 19: Loudoun Rising Foundation Reception is canceled.
  • Thursday, March 26: Inova Loudoun North Tower Ribbon Cutting and Blessing of the House is canceled.
  • Stop the Bleed event at Inova Loudoun Hospital on April 4, 2020 has been postponed to May 2, 2020.
  • Ask the Expert lecture on robotic MAKOplasty® total hip & knee replacements – originally scheduled for April 22; rescheduled for June 3.

Inova Well

All Inova public classes and events have been postponed through May 1, 2020, with re-evaluation at that time.

This includes community life support classes (specifically infant CPR and "friends and family" classes), fitness, nutrition, childbirth, parenting, personal training, massage and acupuncture. In addition, the Joan & Russell Hitt Center for Healthy Living is currently closed until further notice.

Please call 571-472-1401 with questions.

Neurology Services - Epilepsy and Stroke

All classes, community events and support groups are canceled until May 1, 2020, or until further notice.

Women's Services

All maternity tours, latch checks and mom support groups are canceled through April 30, 2020. Please call your hospital lactation center if you have breastfeeding questions.

Weight Loss Services

  • Bariatric Surgery support group canceled on Monday 3/16/2020
  • IMG Bariatric Surgery nutrition classes will be hosted remotely, please call 703-620-3211 with questions
  • Inova Medical Weight Loss group exercise classes are canceled
  • Inova Weight Loss surgery group exercise classes are canceled