WBAMC COVID-19 Information
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness. COVID-19 is the disease caused by this virus and is an increasing force health protection threat in areas where Department of Defense (DoD) personnel live and work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading Federal public health agency responding to COVID-19. The CDC continues to assess the risk of COVID-19 and provide guidance for those residing in the U.S. and traveling abroad.
Force health protection, as well as protecting our TRICARE beneficiaries, is the top priority of WBAMC. We and are taking measures to safeguard the health of our beneficiaries and combat the spread of the virus. Read more on the DoD response to the Coronavirus by clicking here on this link:
Coronavirus: DoD Response
Healthy habits are a first step in preventing the illness from spreading. The CDC and WBAMC encourage the use of three key preventive measures. The first preventive measure is hand hygiene which is washing your hands or using hand sanitizer to kill any virus that might be on your hands. Beneficiaries should frequently wash their hands with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a good choice to use when soap and water are not available. It is important to wash your hands after you come into contact with objects touched by others such as phones, gas pumps, door handles, or shopping carts. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. WBAMC requires our staff and patients to wash their hands or use the hand sanitizer that is provided, before entering our facility.
The second prevention measure is to wear a mask. You should wear a mask that has two or more layers, fits completely over your nose and mouth, and fits snuggly without gaps. Don’t wear a mask made of materials that make it hard to breathe like plastic or vinyl or one with exhalation valves or vents. Carry extra masks with you and change out your mask if it gets wet. Scarves, ski masks, and balaclavas are not substitutes for masks. If you wear one, please wear it over your mask. Do not place a facemask on children younger than 2 years old. Everyone entering our medical facilities is required to wear a face mask.
The third preventative measure is to maintain six feet of social distance from people to minimize close contact with others and ensure you are not spreading the virus. It is important to avoid groups of more than 10 people. According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person talks, breathes, coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby and be inhaled into the lungs. Social-distancing can help protect you from a person who is or might be infected.
To maintain social-distancing in our hospital, our main pharmacy is closed and only provides pharmaceutical services to our hospitalized patients and emergency room services. Beneficiaries can obtain their pharmaceutical needs at Mendoza Clinic drive-though, or the Freedom Crossing pharmacy located on West Fort Bliss.
WBAMC VISITOR POLICY:
During this time of uncertainty, WBAMC has updated its visitor policy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As the disease is easily spread, we must take strong measures to limit the spread and to protect our patients and staff.
Effective April 8, 2020, WBAMC adopted and began to enforce the following changes which apply throughout all medical facilities in the WBAMC footprint, until further notice.
During this public health emergency, WBAMC does not allow visitation of any patient with the exception of the following categories:
- Laboring and post-partum patients may have only one support person with them. The support person cannot have COVID-19 symptoms or be positive for COVID-19 infection.
- Patients at risk for passing within 24 hours. The visitor may not be symptomatic or known to be positive for COVID-19 infection.
- Post-operative visits to patients who underwent emergency or trauma surgery. The visitor may not be positive for COVID-19 infection or be symptomatic. Visitation to these patients will only be allowed during the first two days after the operation, unless allowed by the attending staff physician.
- Elderly or disabled patients requiring assistance to their appointments. The attendant may not have COVID-19 symptoms or be positive for COVID-19 infection. After bringing the patient to their appointment, the attendant must leave the facility. To facilitate exiting our facility, the clinic or unit will call the attendant when the patient is ready to depart WBAMC.
- Symptomatic visitors will not be allowed into the facility. No one under the age of 17 will be allowed to visit. Children under 18 years of age may enter, provided they are the patient getting care.
All visitors will wear a mask throughout their visit, and other PPE as directed by nursing or medical staff. Visitors will not be allowed to wait in a lobby or waiting room.
The Attending medical provider may limit visitors as clinically indicated.
If you have questions about these mitigation strategies or our visitor policy, please call the WBAMC Provost Marshall at (915) 742-2404.
If at any time you feel your medical care was inadequate, please call the Patient Experience office at 915-742-2692 to reach a Patient Advocate. Our Patient Advocates look forward to working with you to find a solution to any concerns you may have about the care you received at any of our facilities.