FAQ

If you have a fever and cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical services from your primary care provider. They are best able to address your symptoms and concerns and advise you.

The VHC Physician Group offers Telephone and Telehealth Visits. These visits are scheduled appointments with a VHC Physician Group provider that makes it possible for patients to receive medical care from their provider without having to leave the safety of their home.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at a higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your healthcare provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Call ahead before going in person to a physician’s office or the Hospital.

If you are experiencing a potentially life threatening problem, go to the nearest Emergency Department, or call 911. The Emergency Department is for those who need the most critical care.

In consultation with leading health organizations, Virginia Hospital Center is taking proactive measures to respond to concerns of a public health crisis with the following steps:

  • Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • Collaborating with local, state and regional organizations, including the Virginia Department of Health and Arlington County Public Health Division, to prepare and coordinate efforts with hospitals and providers.
  • Following screening protocols and providing treatment when necessary.

Visitor Guidelines

To protect our patients and staff, some in-person visitation has been suspended with limited exemptions. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we provide a safe environment for the community.

Visitor Safety

Visitors must remain with the patient through the duration of the visit.

  • Masks are required for all visitors at all times.
  • Patients are strongly encouraged to wear a mask, particularly during visitation, if it can be tolerated.
  • No visitors under the age of 18 years old will be permitted.
  • Visiting hours in some inpatient areas are now available from 4:00 to 8:00 pm daily, with up to two visitors per inpatient. Please contact the nursing unit to confirm visitation.
  • Obstetric patients are welcome to bring one support person for delivery and a certified midwife or doula.
  • Pediatric patients may have two parents/guardians.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may have two parents/guardians.
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays, where a caregiver provides safety, may have one support person.
  • Patients visiting the Emergency Department (ED) may have one support person.
  • Outpatients will be allowed one visitor.
  • Visitors will be allowed on a case-by-case basis during end-of-life situations.

COVID-19

  • No visitors are allowed for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 except in end-of-life situations.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The health and safety of our patients, team and the community are our top priority.


To support these new safety measures, all patients and support persons will be screened at the following entrances prior to entering the Hospital:

  • Emergency Department entrance (Open 24/7; Zone A)
  • Main Hospital Lobby entrance (Open 6:00 am to 9:00 pm; Zone A)
  • Women & Infant Health Lobby entrance (Open 24/7; Zone C)
  • Oncology Services entrance (Open 6:00 am to 9:00 pm; Zone C)
  • Upon entry to the Hospital, all visitors will be required to wear a Hospital-provided surgical mask for the duration of their visit.

In order to protect the health and safety of our staff and patients, all visitors will be required to wear a Hospital-provided surgical mask for the duration of their visit. If you are wearing a homemade or fabric mask, you will be asked to remove it upon entry to the Hospital, and instead wear the surgical mask that we provide to you.

While the CDC does encourage the use of cloth face coverings in public, they do not recommend wearing these fabric masks in a healthcare setting. Surgical masks are more protective than  homemade cloth masks.

The wearing of surgical masks are not just for personal protection, but also to prevent transmission to others.  Wearing the surgical mask will help Virginia Hospital Center protect the health of our staff, patients, and visitors.

It is safe to come to our facilities. We are taking precautionary measures to ensure your wellbeing during your visit.  The Hospital is open and ready to care for you when you need us most.  Our visitation policies have changed so please check HERE before you come to the Hospital.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. If you are feeling ill, as always, we recommend contacting your doctor. They are best able to address your symptoms and concerns and advise you.

We are following the CDC protocols to protect your health within our facility. Remember, you play an important part in protecting our patients, visitors and staff from the spread of illness.

  1. Continue to practice proper hand hygiene;
  2. Cover your cough; and
  3. In the event you become ill, it is important to stay at home until you have completely recovered.

Upon entry to the Hospital, all visitors will be required to wear a Hospital-provided surgical mask for the duration of their visit. But in a public setting, such as a grocery store or pharmacy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face covering:

“CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States.  We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.  This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

Help us protect everyone’s health. If you are not feeling well, please call the department or practice with whom you have an appointment to see if you should reschedule. If you are a patient or a support person for a patient, please see our visitor guidelines for the most recent update.

Caring for your loved ones and keeping our patients safe is a top priority at VHC. We encourage you to stay in contact with patients via telephone, text message, FaceTime, and other virtual channels. Thank you for helping us protect everyone’s health.

Information published by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) recommends you take the following precautions to avoid contracting respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.

The Virginia Department of Health has activated a public information line, 877-ASK-VDH3, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.

Information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: 

COVID-19 is a newly identified viral disease in the coronavirus family, but it can be more severe and spreads easily. Diagnosis is difficult because it shares several symptoms with influenza.

COVID-19 is thought to spread similarly to influenza. That is, it spreads person to person through respiratory droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. These droplets can land on surfaces within about 6 feet and can spread to other people after they contact these infected surfaces with their hands and subsequently touch their face.

Yes, you can catch COVID-19 from an object if the surface of that object has live virus on it. How long the virus can live outside an organism is unknown. Expert estimates range from a few hours to up to nine days, depending on the type of surface, surrounding temperature and environment.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health is developing a vaccine, but it will not be ready and approved for use for at least a year or more.

We have a rigorous screening process in place and are immediately isolating anyone presenting with possible coronavirus symptoms. Our staff is well-trained in infection control processes and protocols. We continue to ensure all areas of our facilities are fully sanitized for your protection.

Virginia Hospital Center is committed to protecting the privacy of our patients and complies with all applicable laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. As always, the Hospital does not share patient-specific information without prior authorization.

Local departments of public health and the CDC are responsible for publicly reporting COVID-19 cases. These authorities are best-positioned to provide public health information. The Virginia Department of Health has activated a public information line, 877-ASK-VDH3, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.

About this Q&A: Many of these answers reference statements and standards already communicated by the CDC, the definitive source for prevention and procedure for infectious diseases in the U.S.