Bedford VA Converts Nursing Home Ward to Accommodate Covid-Positive Veteran Residents

Maintenance and Operations foreman Thomas Quigley (left), and craftsman carpenter Mike Gardner (right), of Bedford VA Medical Center’s engineering staff install a zip-wall system on unit 2B to serve as an antechamber for the newly created negative pressure environment. Bedford VAMC has completed conversion of one full nursing home ward zoned for treatment of patients with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

The Bedford VA Medical Center has completed the conversion of one full ward zoned for treatment of patients with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis ahead of schedule.

Slated to open early next week, the 22-bed Community Living Center ward was completed last night, just in time to accept several COVID-positive Veteran residents that the state-run Chelsea Soldiers’ Home proactively identified as needing a higher level of care in light of the pandemic.

These will be Bedford VAMC’s first COVID-positive inpatient Veterans. Previous safeguards such as the visitor restriction policy, active screening process and proper preventative measures have helped prevent Bedford’s CLC patients from getting a COVID-19 infection.

“Converting one of our nursing home wards into a COVID-19 nursing home ward was part of our surge plan,” said Kelley Saindon, Deputy Nurse Executive at Bedford VAMC. “Our top priority here at Bedford is the preparedness of our facilities to meet the needs of Veterans and their families.”

The former residents of the CLC were moved to another location in the hospital as part of the surge plan. The COVID-19 CLC ward has staff dedicated exclusively to the patients housed there, following the operational guidelines of both the Center for Disease Control and the Veterans Health Administration.

Bedford VAMC will receive several more COVID-positive Veterans onto the ward from the VA Boston Healthcare System today.

Outpatient care for Veterans will continue through telehealth services as appropriate.

“This approach minimizes the risk of infection, supports expansion to meet an increasing need for COVID-19 services and provides Veterans in routine VA care consistent access to VA care,” Saindon said. “Our goal is to prevent COVID-19 infections from spreading within VA, while maintaining our usual high level of care for all Veterans.”

Find more information for Veterans getting care at Bedford VAMC on our public website at https://www.bedford.va.gov/emergency/index.asp.

For more information about the Coronavirus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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