Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare system ready for COVID-19 surge

Posted at 8:10 AM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 18:50:57-04

CLEVELAND — The Northeast Ohio Veterans Affairs Healthcare system is one of the largest around and it serves more than 100,000 veterans in the area. Dr. Robert Bonomo, chief of medical services for the Cleveland VA, said they’ve mobilized their resources to adjust to the current pandemic.

“Our first priority is our patients. Our veteran population is deserving of the best care,” he said.

He said they’ve made preparations for admitting patients to the hospital, they’ve converted areas of the hospital to make them more patient accessible, making sure they have enough personal protective equipment and are now offering virtual appointments.

“We've created visits, so that a provider, a physician, a nurse practitioner, psychologists, etc, can talk to a patient from their remote device and give them the appropriate medical advice that they need,” said Dr. Bonomo.

He said they’ve also arranged to send medication to patient’s homes.

Dr. Bonomo said they have 14 inpatients and 28 outpatients that have tested positive for COVID-19. The VA is also providing COVID-19 testing with a 1 day turnaround.

“In some cases, the infection is mild. The veteran can take care of themselves at home,” he said. “In other cases, if we have any suspicion that there's a problem, we have them come back to be taken care of. We have a dedicated COVID unit.”

As of Wednesday, throughout the country 3,265 veterans have tested positive.

If any veteran in the area is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call this number: 1-888-350-3100.