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COVID-19 update from Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital

Dear Community Leader:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the headlines as well as at the forefront of our daily operation discussions. Our goal is to ensure our hospital continues to be a safe place for our patients and caregivers. We understand new guidelines and criteria are released daily, and Centra’s plans are changing rapidly. We want to thank our communities for their support and patience as we continue to implement changes. It is our sincere hope these changes will ultimately make this community stronger in preventing this virus from spreading to our must vulnerable friends and neighbors.
Effective 5pm yesterday, Monday, March 16th, 2020, Centra is prohibiting visitor access to all four hospitals – Lynchburg General Hospital, Virginia Baptist Hospital, Southside Community Hospital, Bedford Memorial Hospital and the Gretna Emergency Department. This also includes our Oakwood Health and Rehabilitation facility which is attached to Bedford Memorial Hospital.  Out of an abundance of caution for our patients and caregivers, routine visitors will not be allowed in Centra hospitals until further notice.  Outpatients who have scheduled appointments in the hospitals will be allowed entry.
Very narrow exceptions to this “no visitor” policy will be considered; 

  • For obstetrical patients, one visitor will be permitted
  • For pediatric patients, one visitor will be permitted (parent or legal guardian). 
  • Exceptions will be made for patients receiving end of life care
  • Other exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Approved visitors as well as outpatients with scheduled appointments will be screened prior to entry
We understand this change will represent a significant hardship for both patients and families. This was a difficult decision, but one we feel is critically important to protect the patients who have entrusted us with their care, their families, our staff and the communities we serve. We want to assure both our caregivers and community that it is safe to visit us for scheduled appointments and procedures.
We know the importance of loved ones being a part of the healing process. We will support and encourage inpatients to connect with family and friends by phone and through other technology, such as FaceTime or Skype.

Patient entry points that may be pertinent to Bedford County residents are as follows:
  • Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital: (1) Emergency Department and (2) Main Entrance.
  • Centra Lynchburg General Hospital: (1) Emergency Department, (2) East Tower Main Lobby entrance, and (3) Terrace entrance on Thomson Drive. 
  • Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital: (1) Oak Lane entrance and (2) Barker/Cowling side entrance (during business hours). 
Effective immediately, Centra will cancel non-essential surgeries and procedures. This is consistent with health systems across the country following the U.S Surgeon General’s recommendation. This will be done at the discretion of individual service lines. Some procedures and conditions will continue to be performed if deemed medically necessary. If they are considered non-essential, the case will be postponed. We recognize once this crisis resolves, there will be a backlog and we will thoughtfully work on plans to reschedule these surgeries and procedures in a timely manner.
The following measures, also effective immediately, are important to protect our patients and caregivers from the spread of the virus, as well as free up resources and space to care for an onslaught of patients needing critical care should the need arise.
  • Centra is restricting routine and elective follow ups visits for patients over 70 years of age in our clinics. Patients may be contacted to move their appointments to telephone consultations to maintain medication management, prescription refills and medical follow up. This will be done at the discretion of individual service lines. (effective Tuesday, March 17th)
  • The Dawson Inn will be closed until further notice. This is future planning for Centra in the event we need to repurpose the facility for sick patients.
  • In addition, we are taking steps to eliminate self-service food and drink items in our cafeterias. We will be providing boxed lunches. This is aligned with social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.
Centra has created a hotline for COVID-19 screening.  Any person that may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 that includes coughing, fever, or shortness of breath and have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed or in a location where transmission is high, can call our Centra Coronavirus care line at 434.200.1225 for an initial screening by a doctor or nurse.
Centra leadership has formed an Incident Command that meets daily.  As guidelines change an updates are needed we will forward that information to you, our community leaders in Bedford.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns as we all navigate through this unprecedented time.
Thank you,
Christy Lucy
Community Engagement Coordinator

Bedford Memorial Hospital
1613 Oakwood St, Bedford, VA  24523
P 540.425.7619     M 434.485.4458