We are committed to always keeping our patients, employees and community members safe. We have created extensive plans and internal guidelines to ensure you can get the care you need in the safest manner possible at any Sentara facility. Here’s what we’re doing to keep you safe:
- Following enhanced and thorough infection prevention cleaning and sterilization protocols. Our protocols meet or exceed national guidelines for COVID-19 in the healthcare setting such as those recommended by the CDC, WHO, OSHA, FDA, EPA, and other professional groups.
- Using EPA-approved disinfection/cleaning supplies.
- Cleaning all equipment according to manufacturer instructions.
- Using comprehensive, multi-step checklists to clean patient rooms between each visit and at the end of the day in all of our facilities.
- Our detailed checklists ensure staff members are aware of and following our cleaning requirements, including how to clean high-touch areas and all other surfaces, how to safely wear and remove their personal protective equipment, and how to use our UV light disinfection technology.
- CDC-recommended protocols are in place for cleaning and managing bathrooms, light fixtures, furniture, medical waste, laundry, food service utensils and other items.
- Aggressively cleaning our common areas to wipe down surfaces and shared objects between each use with a focus on high-touch surfaces such as chair armrests, doorknobs, hand scanners, and pens.
Patient and Employee Screening and Testing Protocols
- Pre-screening patients prior to appointments.
- Screening all healthcare professionals, employees, patients and visitors who enter a Sentara facility, including no-touch temperature checks.
- Conducting robust in-house COVID-19 testing, and testing our employees as needed.
- Patients will complete a COVID-19 test 48 hours in advance of certain scheduled surgeries and procedures.
- Patients who complete a pre-op COVID-19 test will be required to self-quarantine between the test and procedure.
- Requiring masks for all healthcare professionals, employees, patients and visitors inside Sentara facilities, for everyone’s protection.
- If you are an outpatient or a visitor, you must wear a mask at all times.
- If you are an inpatient, you must wear a mask anytime someone enters your room.
- Providing a mask to patients who do not have their own.
Social Distancing Protocols
- Practicing social distancing at all of our facilities and requiring masks for all employees, patients, and visitors.
- Reducing wait times to limit the number of people in waiting rooms.
- Keeping our waiting rooms spaced out and decluttered, with magazines and extra chairs removed.
- Asking some patients to wait in their cars after checking in.
- Placing markers on the floor to indicate appropriate spacing between patients waiting to register.
- Separating patients in our emergency departments by COVID-19 status.
- Implementing thoughtful visitation policies.
- One visitor or caregiver is allowed to accompany patients in need of assistance at their scheduled Sentara Medical Group appointments. All other visitors are prohibited at SMG offices at this time.
- Check our current hospital and Life Care facility visitation policies here.
Additional Safety Measures
- Having dedicated equipment to use only for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.
- Recommending telehealth appointments when appropriate.
- We recommend telehealth appointments for those who do not want to come into the practice, are unwilling to wear a face mask, have symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, have co-morbidities that do not require in-person care, or are conducting annual wellness visits.
- Click here for information about what types of visits we are currently conducting in our offices.
- Adapting to new information and consulting with subject matter experts to reassess and update our policies, safety practices and cleaning protocols as often as needed.
Read more about some of the trusted guidelines we follow to keep you safe:
- Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings – CDC
- Guidelines for Healthcare Workers and Employers – OSHA
- List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 – EPA
- Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19) – CDC