HAMPTON, Va. — The Hampton Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center will resume in-person, face-to-face, routine medical procedures.
They've been largely on hold because of the COVID-19 crisis, which prompted Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to sign emergency declarations and stay-at-home executive orders beginning on March 12.
Director David Collins couldn't be happier for the 58,000 patients who receive care annually at the 438-bed center. The plan is for the center to begin reintroducing health care services beginning on Wednesday, June 10.
"It's a big deal," he said. "This has been a long process. The restrictions we've been operating under the last several months are finally stating to be lifted. We're going to start bringing folks back into the hospital for routine care, elective surgeries and MRI's, so we can begin the process of returning to normal. We don't want to get too far ahead of it. We want to make sure we've able to protect the staff and the veterans who come into the hospital So we're going to closely monitor the positive cases we have."
But some practices that came about primarily because of the coronavirus -- such as drive-up, parking lot patient pre-screening and glaucoma checks, phone consults and the drive through pharmacy -- will continue.
"People will be able to drive in, stay in their vehicle, get their services, get taken care of, and then never have to enter the hospital," said Collins.
According to the V.A.'s website, the Hampton Center has experienced 70 positive cases of COVID-19. Eleven of them are still active. Of the total number, 64 cases were in convalescent care, and six people died.