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Update: UVA Health Response to COVID-19

See the latest news updates to learn how UVA Health is making an impact in the midst of this global health crisis and responding to the latest surge in the delta variant.

UVA Health to Require COVID-19 Vaccination for Employees Effective Nov. 1
The new policy will protect UVA Health’s patients, guests and team members. UVA Health already has required all new hires to be vaccinated. (Aug. 25, 2021)

UVA Health Visitation Changes Beginning Aug. 26
UVA Health will limit the number of visitors for UVA Medical Center inpatients, Emergency Department patients, patients undergoing procedures and patients at the Transitional Care Hospital. (Aug. 23, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccines Coming to UVA Health Outpatient Pharmacies
With an increase in cases caused by the delta variant, UVA Health is making it easier for Central Virginia residents to become vaccinated against COVID-19. (Aug. 13, 2021)

UVA Health Visitation Changes Beginning Aug. 12
UVA Health will limit visitation hours for inpatients and patients at the Transitional Care Hospital due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the community. (Aug. 10, 2021)

COVID-19: Scientists, Doctors Launch Vaccine Virtual Town Halls
More than 50 scientific experts from across the United States, including virologists, infectious disease specialists and medical doctors, are launching a series of virtual town halls today to answer the public’s questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. The series kicked off on March 22, with future sessions scheduled for March 24-26 and March 30. Additional sessions are slated to continue throughout the spring and summer. (March 22, 2021)

UVA Health Earns National Award for Reducing COVID-19 Infections at Long-Term Care Facilities
UVA Health’s Geriatric Engagement and Resource Integration for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Facilities (GERI-PaL) program was named a runner-up in the 2020 Health Quality Innovators of the Year Awards. (Feb. 17, 2021)

BRHD, UVA Health Partnering on Second Community COVID-19 Vaccination Site
The Virginia Department of Health’s Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD) and UVA Health are partnering to launch a second COVID-19 community vaccination site at Seminole Square in Charlottesville. (Jan. 29, 2021)

COVID-19 Trial, Conducted by Mail, Tests Drug to Prevent Hospitalization
At-risk people diagnosed with COVID-19 across the United States and Canada can participate in a clinical trial testing whether a common drug can keep them from getting sicker and keep them out of the hospital.­­ (Jan. 13, 2021)

Visitors Not Permitted at UVA Health Beginning Jan. 13
These changes are being made to help protect the health of our patients and team members as COVID-19 cases have increased in the Charlottesville area and throughout Virginia. (Jan. 12, 2021)

UVA Health Begins Vaccinations for Frontline Staff
Employees at highest risk of acquiring COVID-19 through a work-related exposure, as a group that included doctors, nurses, environmental services workers and pharmacists received their first of two Pfizer vaccine doses on Dec. 15. UVA Health received just shy of 3,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in its initial shipment. (Dec. 15, 2020)

Four COVID-19 Therapies Being Tested at UVA
Over the past nine months, clinical trials conducted at UVA have led to new treatments for patients fighting COVID-19 in Charlottesville and provided new tools for healthcare workers saving lives around the world. (Dec. 11, 2020)

UVA Begins COVID-19 Admission Testing for Patients
Beginning November 16, UVA Health began testing all patients admitted to UVA hospital for COVID-19, according to a recent announcement from Chief Medical Officer and Chair of Surgery, Reid Adams, MD. This included all patients admitted from the emergency department, directly from clinics or those transferred to UVA, as well as inpatients not previously tested. Pre-procedure testing has not started, but will be rolled out in the near future. 

As of Monday, Nov. 23, with approximately 471 tests administered, the positivity rate was approximately 1%. “As expected, we have a very low prevalence of Covid patients,” says Adams. “A special thanks to the many teams who made it possible to launch this testing protocol to enhance safety for all.” Learn more about what UVA Health is doing to protect patients and staff.

Preparing for a Potential COVID-19 Vaccine
Costi Sifri, MD, UVA Health’s hospital epidemiologist, and Mitch Rosner, MD, chair of the University of Virginia’s Department of Medicine, provide details about the rollout of the vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19. (Nov. 20, 2020)

UVA Expert Discusses Lingering Effects of COVID-19
In a recent article, William Petri, MD, the former head of the UVA Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, shines a light on the potential after effects of this elusive virus. 

Antidepressent May Prevent Severe COVID-19, Clinical Trial Finds
The antidepressant fluvoxamine appears to prevent COVID-19 infections from worsening and may help keep patients out of the hospital, a trial based on research from the School of Medicine suggests.

When Can Kids Return to Sports After COVID-19? Doctors Weigh In
A trio of pediatric cardiologists offers important advice on if and when it is safe for children and teens to return to playing sports after recovering from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Blood Test Can Predict Disease Severity
UVA scientists determined that, by examining COVID-19 patients’ blood, they can identify those patients at greatest risk of severe illness to pinpoint those most likely to need a ventilator.

FCC Grant to Expand UVA Health’s COVID-19 Telehealth Care
The Federal Communications Commission awarded UVA Health $767,139 to expand UVA’s use of telehealth for patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visitation Permitted at UVA Inpatient Units, Procedural Areas Beginning June 23
All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must be symptom-free before entering UVA Health facilities. All visitors must wear a mask at all times, including at patients’ bedsides.

COVID-19 Collaboration Reducing Infections in Long-Term Care Facilities
A collaborative program developed at UVA Health to work with local long-term care facilities to control COVID-19 is saving lives and offers a model for communities across the country, a new scientific paper reports.

UVA Physicians, Medical Students Launch COVID-19 Podcast
School of Medicine physicians and students have launched a COVID-19 podcast series that includes health advice for patients, along with a behind-the-scenes look at UVA Health’s approach to patient care and research.

Telehealth Tools Developed for Ebola Improve COVID Care
The telehealth tools allow doctors to provide personal, high-quality care while conserving vital personal protective equipment and reducing infection risks.

UVA Health Reopens for In-Person Care
UVA Health is ramping up access to both inpatient and outpatient care with robust safety measures in place to protect the health of patients and team members.

UVA Health Trial to Test Convalescent Plasma as Potential COVID-19 Treatment
UVA Health is launching a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of using plasma from patients that have recovered from COVID-19 as a potential treatment for inpatients with the disease.

Drug Tested at UVA Cleared as 1st COVID-19 Treatment
The federal Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency-use authorization for the antiviral drug, remdesivir, the first treatment authorized to battle the life-threatening illness.

COVID-19: Drug Tested at UVA Speeds Recovery
The antiviral drug remdesivir, tested against COVID-19 at UVA Health and other sites, helped patients with advanced cases recover 31% faster than patients who received a placebo, the National Institutes of Health reports.

UVA Health Enacting Changes in Response to COVID-19 Financial Impact
UVA Health is implementing a series of actions designed to mitigate the financial effects of COVID-19 and safeguard its ability to serve the community.

Covid-19 and Imaging: Why CT Scans and X-Rays Are Not Recommended for Diagnosing Coronavirus
Lab testing for COVID-19 remains limited in many places. Because of this, some healthcare providers have turned to chest CT scans or x-rays to diagnose COVID-19. However, current evidence suggests that these tools are not specific enough to either diagnose or rule out the virus.

Exercise May Help Prevent Deadly Complication of COVID-19
Regular exercise may reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a major cause of death in patients with the COVID-19 virus, a top UVA exercise researcher reports.

A Robot Is Allowing UVA Health to Reuse Thousands of Masks in COVID-19 Fight
The robot, called “Tru-D,” uses ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UV) or UV light vectors to disinfect porous and non-porous surfaces without toxic chemicals.

UVA Joins National Trial to Test Potential COVID-19 Medication
The trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has been tested in humans with Ebola virus.

Newly Developed COVID-19 Testing
UVA’s current testing platform enables more than 100 tests per day, and the health system has offered to perform up to 50 tests per day for hospitals across Virginia on behalf of inpatients that meet clinical guidelines for testing.

More COVID-19 News from UVA

Learning in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Researchers, Clinicians Weigh In

Societal Costs of COVID-19 Outweigh Individual Costs

Q&A: From the Front Lines, Dr. Catherine Bonham Talks COVID-19

Photos: The Fight Continues at UVA and Beyond

Biocomplexity Institute Researchers Develop COVID-19 Projection Model for Virginia

Staff, Faculty Across Grounds Unite to 3-D Print, Create, Donate Critical Medical Supplies

Updated: February 4, 2021

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