Memphis VA Medical Center
Work Status for Employees
As of Monday, March 30, 2020 10:30 AM CDT
Director statement regarding reporting for duty:
To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 and other illnesses, Memphis VAMC is asking patients, staff and visitors to help slow the spread of infection. All Memphis VA Medical Center clinics and operations are operating normally EXCEPT for the updated visitor, patient and staff restrictions/guidelines below.
New Screening Tents
During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Memphis VA will be adapting to meet CDC guidelines. We will continue to screen all patients and employees before entering the building. Patient screening has been relocated from the Emergency Room entrance to tents staged in the small parking lot adjacent to the Emergency Department. This relocation will provide an improved entry screening process and will allow for greater access, efficiency, and isolation as needed.
Staff Drop Off Area
Employees are reminded not to use the driveway near the lower level entrance of the Spinal Cord Injury Building for personal drop off. Failure to keep this area clear could result in emergency vehicles being unable to access the Emergency Room Ambulance Entrance. VA Police will be monitoring this area and are authorized to ticket violators.
Temporary Change to Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Services
To ensure the health and safety of veterans, staff and visitors, effective March 19, 2020 until further notice, the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services, Disabled American Veterans and Mississippi Veteran Services offices located at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center will no longer receive in-person visits. The staff of these offices will be available to assist veterans at the following phone or email listing:
- TN Department of Veteran Services
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- Phone: 1-865-694-7102
- Mississippi Veteran Services
- Phone: 662-449-2811
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Temporary Change to Veterans Canteen Service (VCS)
Effective Monday, March 23, 2020 and until further notice, the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center will be closing the patient and employee dining room seating areas. Customers will be able to purchase take-out food during this time. This action is being taken to ensure the health safety of veterans, staff and visitors. Additional restrictions may be put in place as conditions warrant.
Temporary Change to the Human Resources (HR) Career Center
The Human Resources (HR) Career Center will be closed until further notice. Visitors and employees can contact the Career Center by calling 901-523-8990 ext. 5928 or emailing Ms. Stephanie McDuffie at Stephanie.Mcduffie@va.gov or emailing HR staff at VHAMEMHRMSStf@med.va.gov
Restriction of Visitor Access to the Medical Center
The primary focus of the Memphis Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is the safety and protection of veterans and staff. As a result, visitors are no longer be allowed access to the medical center.
Exceptions include one visitor per veteran:
- who require assistance to get to and from an appointment;
- who require support in inpatient palliative/hospice care or the Emergency Department;
- who are having major procedures, surgery, or who require a driver post procedure.
Only visitors without symptoms will be permitted to enter the medical center as dictated by the current situation. No visitors under the age of 18 (including infants) will be permitted.
These restrictions apply to all Memphis VA Medical Center and Community Based Outpatient Clinic care locations.
Should veterans have any questions, please instruct them to call Telephone Care at 901-577-7221 before visiting the facility. Your understanding and cooperation to help ensure the safety of our veterans and staff is appreciated.
Staff Coronavirus Screening
Employees will be required to self-certify to negative answers to screening questions prior to entering any Memphis VA Medical Center and Community Based Outpatient Clinic location. This self-certification will be accomplished by showing your PIV card to VA Police at the entrance. This self-certification states:
- I do not have a fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or flu like symptoms.
- I have not, or do not have a close contact, with anyone who has traveled to an area with widespread or sustained community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the past 14 days. (China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan)
- I have not been in close contact with anyone (including a health care worker) who is confirmed to have the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
If you are ill or feeling ill with any of these symptoms, please stay home and follow normal call in procedures.
Facility Entrances and Hours
Effective immediately, the following visitation safeguards are in place:
- The Emergency Department and Spinal Cord Injury Building (1st floor), will be the only entrances available for use.
- All patients, visitors and staff will be screened for COVID-19 at the designated entrance.
- Outpatients should come to appointments alone if possible, but if necessary, please limit the number of individuals accompanying you.
The following are the hours of operation for each entrance:
Emergency Department Entrance
Open 24/7 daily including weekends and holidays
Spinal Cord Injury Entrance - 1st Floor (For Employees Only)
Monday thru Friday, 5:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- The Spinal Cord Injury Building entrance on the 1st floor will be the only entrance for employees.
- For employees who ride the shuttle to and from the Mississippi Boulevard Church parking lot, pick up and drop off will be at the Spinal Cord Entrance on the 1st floor.
- All employees should have their work identification card available for entrance and should set aside enough time to be at your work area on time.
SPECIAL NOTE: Other than the times listed above, the Emergency Department Entrance is to be used.
Cancellation of Events
While dealing with COVID-19 as a public health threat, for the safety and well-being of veterans and staff, all scheduled events or gatherings that would invite people into the medical center, placing them in close proximity, are being cancelled until further notice. This includes but is not limited to all face-to-face programs and activities that are not designated for specific clinical training such as:
- Information and Training Fairs
- Entertainment Events
- Special Emphasis Events
- Special Volunteer Programs
- Veterans Town Hall Meetings
While these measures offer a disruption in scheduled programs and planning, according to the CDC studies have shown that early implementation of interventions such as social distancing can reduce the community spread and impact of infection and could be a critical step to avert widespread disease transmission.
The cancellation or postponement of such events and programs as listed above that do not fall into the category of mission-critical is a temporary action. The intent is to resume these activities after the threat of COVID-19 has subsided.
This action is being taken to ensure the health safety of veterans, staff and visitors. Additional restrictions may be put in place as conditions warrant.
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.