CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) is coordinating with MUSC to get patients and staff tested for COVID-19.
According to a press release, the VAMC is offering patients and employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms testing at the MUSC drive-through site in West Ashley.
VAMC patients who think they may need to be tested can receive a virtual screening by calling the VA Telephone Advice Program at (843) 789-6400. Employees are directed to “notify their supervisor and VA Employee Health.”
Those who qualify for testing will be referred to MUSC, and MUSC will contact individuals with appointment times. Patients will be required to provide a VA ID at the appointment. The groups emphasized that “this is not a self-select drive-through or walk-up service for anyone…individuals who report to the site for specimen collection, but do not have a testing order through the MUSC Health Virtual Urgent Care platform or the VAMC, will not be allowed to enter the secure site.”
Ronnie Smith, Charleston’s VA Acting Director, said “having designated VA patient and employee appointments will help speed test results for VA patients who often have multiple health conditions and VA healthcare workers as well.”
Test results are expected “within 24 hours of the specimen arriving in the lab.” MUSC will provide the VAMC with the results, and the VAMC will contact the patient.
According to VAMC, patients should watch for the following symptoms:
- Fever (a measured oral temperature greater than 100.4°F/38.0°C)
- New onset cough or worsening chronic cough
- Sore throat
- New onset shortness of breath or worsening shortness of breath
- New onset headache or worsening headache
- Muscle Aches
- Diarrhea and/or Nausea
- Sudden loss of taste/smell