Veterans announce changes

Visitor Access to State Veterans’ Homes Suspended

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs has announced ‎additional steps to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Florida.‎

Effective March ‎‎11, 2020, FDVA is restricting visitor access to its State Veterans’ ‎Nursing Homes and Domiciliary ‎until further notice, with the exception of essential ‎visitors, such as ‎family members of those residents undergoing end-of-life care. ‎The U.S. ‎Department of Veterans Affairs has also temporarily restricted access to ‎their nursing and ‎community living center facilities to only essential visitors until ‎further notice.

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VA Medical Centers and Outpatient Clinics Open with Enhanced Screening

All VA Medical Centers in Florida are implementing ‎enhanced screening protocols at their facilities. VA Outpatient Clinics are also ‎implementing enhanced screening protocols. Please plan to arrive at the facility well in advance of your ‎appointment to allow additional time for the screening ‎process. ‎

Veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are encouraged to contact the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center at 1-877-741-3400 ‎‎(toll free). Clinical staff provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice ‎and triage. The service is available at no cost to veterans enrolled for care in the VA ‎Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8). ‎

Florida’s National Cemeteries Open for Burial and ‎Visitation

All U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemeteries are open for burial and ‎visitation by the public. Florida has nine National Cemeteries. To schedule a burial, ‎please call 800-535-1117, option 1. In light of concerns regarding COVID-19, some ‎families may prefer to proceed with direct interment of their loved ones and postpone ‎the formal committal services to a later date. Cemetery administrators will work to ‎accommodate these preferences. In addition, cemetery personnel will be discouraged ‎from handshaking and any unnecessary physical contact to minimize the potential ‎transmission of germs and viruses until the pandemic conditions are under control.

Health Department Launches New COVID-19 Dashboard

TALLAHASSEE — In the state’s ongoing efforts to provide transparency and clarity regarding COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health announced March 16 the launch of a new COVID-19 Case Dashboard. To keep Florida residents and visitors safe, informed and aware about the status of the virus, this dashboard will be updated twice daily.

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