Veterans: Call before visiting your VA facility

Got a fever, cold, cough or flu-like symptoms? Are you worried that you have a viral illness? The last thing you want to do is get out of the house to see the doctor, exposing yourself (and others) to more potential bugs and viruses.

VA can make it easier and safer to get back to health with virtual care through My HealtheVet and the VA Video Connect app on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

What is virtual care? Virtual care means you can contact your VA provider (and health care team) through secure messaging or receive treatment by telephone or video. Last year, Veterans had over 20 million virtual engagements with VA.

Any Veteran who qualifies to receive VA care and lives in the U.S. is eligible to use virtual care.Long Description

Staying home – easier for you, safer for the community.

Virtual care is personalized and can connect you with your providers more effectively than ever. Ask your health care team if virtual care can help meet some of your health care needs. Options include in-home health monitoring with tailored technologies, connection to specialists, or even remote scans and data.

Cold and flu care made easy

Virtual care is safe and effective. Imagine the benefits to you and to your fellow Veterans if you don’t have the hassle of going to the hospital or clinic with a with a cold, flu or other viral illness. You can stay at home and avoid battling for a parking spot and spending time in a waiting room. Most importantly, you won’t put other Veterans at risk of a highly contagious illness. Staying home can be easier for you AND safer for the community by helping contain the spread of infectious diseases.

You probably already know My HealtheVet is a great way to manage your care – with online Rx Refills, VA Appointments, and your labs and tests, radiology reports, and images.

With secure messaging and video appointments, reaching your providers while at home can be easy, too. While not for use in emergencies, a secure and private session begins with a simple request with a Secure Message for a video appointment. Sign inand request one next time you need to see your doctor or other providers.

Your health care team can also set up an in-person appointment, if needed. Call your VA health center if you have symptoms.

For more information, visit:

VA Video Connect (allows you to test your equipment compatibility)

Reach Your VA Care Team Over Live Video (YouTube)

VA Telehealth Services

Influenza (Flu)

VA’s Office of Connected Care, Veterans Health Administration, contributed to this story.

Secretary: VA ready for COVID-19 pandemic

 Posted onWednesday, March 18, 2020 2:34 pm Posted in CoronavirusDisaster ResponseTop StoriesUncategorized by Adam Stump  19 comments  9k views

VA is ready for the COVID-19 pandemic, said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie during a White House press briefing March 18.

“One of the things we do at VA is that we prepare for national emergencies, be they national emergencies or epidemics,” Wilkie said.

VA has four specific missions. Three are Veterans health care, Veterans benefits and running national cemeteries.

“Our fourth mission is to support the federal government in times of natural disasters and pandemics,” he said. Wilkie said VA is the “buttress force” if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) needs medical professionals for crises.

“We plan for that every day,” he said. “We are gaming out emergency preparedness scenarios and we stand ready when the President needs us to expand our mission.”

Wilkie said VA has stockpiled equipment and its supply chain is stable.

Helping Veterans

The secretary said VA has tested several hundred Veterans and 44 have tested positive for coronavirus. He said many of those Veterans self-quarantined in their homes. He added that VA works with state laboratories and private companies for testing kits.

The secretary said that Veteran care and protection is an important part of VA’s mission.

“My instructions from the President were very clear,” Wilkie said. “I was to do everything imaginable, as aggressively as possible, to protect the 9.5 million Veterans who are part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

The secretary said VA established 19 emergency operations centers across the country last month. Additionally, VA started limiting the number of visitors to facilities to try to stop the virus’ spread. He said VA also was one of the first health care systems that started questioning and testing visitors before allowing access. He added VA also restricted access to its Community Living Centers to help keep Veteran residents safe.

Wilkie said VA took additional steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure, including cutting back dental surgeries, routine appointments and elective surgeries.

All these actions help protect Veterans, he said.

“These were all parts of the President’s directive to be as aggressive in a public health sense as we could be,” Wilkie said. “I think we have set the pace for the entire country.

“We’ve often said we work the most noble mission in the federal government,” he continued. “Our Veterans have been in the toughest spots in the world. They have been put in conditions that are unimaginable to most Americans and they have responded.”

For the latest VA updates on coronavirus and commonsense tips on preventing its spread, visit

For more information about coronavirus, please visit

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