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COVID-19: VA Medical Center in White River Junction to resume more services

  • Health care workers escort a departing patient in a wheelchair, who recovered from being stricken with COVID-19, outside the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua, N.H.., Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) ap — Charles Krupa

Published: 5/27/2020 3:17:19 PM
Modified: 5/27/2020 9:16:35 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The White River Junction VA Medical Center plans to reintroduce some health care services next week that were put on hold during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The hospital will begin a “phased approach” in resuming “some face-to-face services” on Monday, the VA said in a news release Wednesday.

The medical center said it will “carefully expand time-sensitive surgical cases as well as select specialty services based on clinical need of veteran patients.”

They include non-routine colonoscopies, bronchoscopies, pain management injections, and some other gastrointestinal procedures.

Other services, such as primary care, mental health and specialty services will continue in full operation, though predominantly through “virtual” visits, including telehealth exams, phone consultations and wellness checks, the release said.

Visitor restrictions remain in place at the VA Medical Center, and patients must continue to call ahead unless they are experiencing a medical emergency, the release said.

Walk-in appointments are still discouraged, and the pharmacy will continue to maximize mail-order prescriptions. Everyone visiting the VA campus is required to wear a face mask, the release said.

Bethel pool won’t open

The Bethel pool won’t open this summer, town recreation officials announced in a Facebook post Tuesday.

“We just couldn’t put our staff, or the patrons at risk of getting sick while using our facility,” Bethel recreation officials said in the post.

They cited a “lack of clear guidelines by the state for the safe operation of public pools” as a reason for not opening the Pleasant Street facility this summer. It is usually open June through August, according to the town website.

They plan to reopen the pool in 2021,

Recreation officials plan to reopen the pool in 2021, and in the meantime they will offer information about how to stay safe while swimming in ponds, rivers or neighbors’ swimming pools this summer.

On-demand testing

CANAAN — The Mascoma Community Health Center has begun to offer on-demand testing for COVID-19.

In a Listserv post, the health center asked those who feel sick and worry it might be COVID-19 to call ahead to schedule an appointment and test.

The clinic, which is located off Route 4 in Canaan, also is offering antibody testing for people who were previously sick and want to learn if they have developed antibodies against COVID-19.

The nonprofit health center can be reached at 603-523-4343.

Free trash day in Norwich

The town of Norwich is not participating formally in Green Up Day on Saturday but will offer a “free trash day” for residents. Up to four 30-gallon bags of household trash will be accepted at the transfer station that day, and a fee will be charged for any amount over four bags, according to an announcement from the Town Manager’s Office.

The announcement said town government was not taking part in Green Up Day in Norwich “due to the lack of personal protective equipment and the potential liability to employees/volunteers given the risk of COVID-19 exposure.”

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