Congresswoman Luria visits Hampton VA Hospital


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) —  Congresswoman Elaine Luria visited the VA Hospital in Hampton Thursday to see what the VA needs from Congress to handle a possible increase in cases of COVID-19.  

The Hampton VA hasn’t had a positive case of the coronavirus yet, but they have tested patients and are waiting on those results to come in. 

“What I saw here today is that the VA is definitely planning and working through what their response would be and how they can scale based off the number of cases,” said Congresswoman Luria. 

So far the number of test kits isn’t an issue for this hospital according to officials.

“Here at the Hampton VA, for the number of cases that they have needed to test, they have a sufficient supply,” explain David Collins, the director of the Hampton VA. 

But with more cases, Collins says, will come more problems. 

“We’re a smaller in-patient facility. We don’t have a huge number of beds on any normal day to begin with,” he said. “As this continues to grow, we will be beyond our capacity. A real date for that is hard to project. “

Last week, this facility began screening everyone who walks into the building, asking basic questions before letting patients and visitors enter. They also made changes to encourage social distancing in the waiting rooms, and increased scheduling routine check-ups to video calls with patients and doctors.  

Luria says Congress is working to do everything they can to help. 

“Everyone working together in a non-partisan way to get help to the American people and I think if people are listening, just know that your government is working for you to do everything we can in an unprecedented situation,” she said.

The congresswoman will visit the Portsmouth Naval Hospital Friday.  She said they’re preparing to send their medical personal to staff the USNS Comfort, the Navy’s hospital ship, which is currently preparing to deploy to help the outbreak in New York City. 

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