Miami VA Healthcare System
Prepare for Your Visit
Prepare for a visit: Everyone entering our facilities is screened, and visitors are limited. Face coverings are mandatory. Please contact us first before going to any of our locations. For some needs, you may be able to get care at home by phone or video.
Your Safe Care is Our Mission
If you are experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 9-1-1 or visit an emergency room closest to you.
VA continues to be cautious as we move into the next phase of resuming additional face-to-face appointments and procedures; the following policies remain in effect:
- Visitation Policy: No visitors are allowed, although exceptions may be made in advance for end-of-life or other concerns on a case-by-case basis.
- Designated Caregiver/Support Person for Outpatient Appointments or Procedures: One designated caregiver/support person can accompany patients requiring physical or cognitive assistance. Any caregiver or support person needs to be preapproved by your provider before your visit. If you have an upcoming medical procedure, we ask that your support person/driver wait in the designated location or in their vehicle. One of our employees will keep them informed of your progress and when it’s time to pick you up.
- COVID-19 Screening: All individuals must pass COVID-19 screening prior to entry to our facilities. Veterans with COVID symptoms will be referred for a clinical evaluation. All other individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed in our facilities.
- Masks: Appropriate masks must always be worn while in our facilities. Veterans and others who forget a mask will be supplied one by our staff.
- Physical Distancing: All individuals who visit and work at our medical centers and clinics are required to practice physical distancing. Signs, floor stickers and furniture in common areas have been arranged to assist all in adhering to physical distancing requirements.
- Face-to-face Appointments: Traditional face-to-face appointments remain limited for some services and clinics. Please contact your local facility before coming for a “walk-in” appointment. Veterans who are making or who have face-to-face appointments at our medical center or clinics should discuss restrictions and the check-in process prior to arriving for appointments.
- 24/7 Virtual Urgent Care: The VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center is available 24/7 for urgent care needs, nurse triage and pharmacy support. Veterans can call 1-877-741-3400 to receive around-the-clock care or use the VA Health Chat app Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
What to do if you think you have COVID-19
If you are sick or have symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath), the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center is the best, first contact before visiting our facilities. Staff are available 24/7 for nurse advice and triage, VA Video Connect, VA Health Chat and more. Contact us at 1-877-741-3400.
Testing for COVID-19
Currently, VA is testing patients and employees who are symptomatic as well as those who are scheduled for medical procedures. We are also testing employees and residents of our Community Living Centers and other inpatient units in accordance with current CDC guidance.
Importance of Wearing a Mask
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to recommend all individuals wear masks in public or when around people who don’t live in the same household to stop the spread of COVID-19. VA requires masks to be worn while on our campuses and in our facilities.
This is especially true for people with lung diseases like asthma, emphysema and COPD because they may be at greater risk of severe complications and even death from COVID-19.
The American Lung Association, among others, indicate wearing a mask does not significantly affect oxygen or carbon dioxide levels.
Individuals who have trouble tolerating a mask due to claustrophobia or anxiety can lessen these feelings by progressively wearing the mask for longer periods of time to adjust. They can also try different kinds of masks to find one that fits better or is more comfortable. Patients can speak with their health care provider about other options that may be available but still provide an acceptable level protection. It is important to note that masks with breathing valves do not offer protection but rather allow for the spread of the virus. If patients arrive on campus with this type of mask, they will be required to wear a VA issued one.
Safety Measures at Our FacilitiesYour safety is important to us. The following measures have been implemented:
- All individuals should wear appropriate face masks (cloth, surgical/generic) while on our campuses and in our facilities; health care providers will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Cleaning of high-touch surfaces in our facilities
- Increased physical distancing in common areas like waiting rooms, Canteen and retail stores
What to expect when you’re hereWhen you come to our facilities for your appointment, things will likely look a little differently and some of our processes have changed for your continued safety.
- Currently, access to our facility is limited for emergency care or by appointment only.
- Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
- If you have opted in to VEText, you will be asked to check-in using that option. Otherwise, your care team will provide instruction on check-in procedures.