sentara-logo
Sentara Healthcare logo

You're Safe at Sentara

We are committed to always keeping our patients, employees and community members safe. 

According to the CDC and state departments of health, masks are still required for all individuals inside healthcare settings, regardless of vaccination status.

Healthcare settings include hospitals, doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home healthcare, vehicles where healthcare is delivered (e.g., mobile clinics), and outpatient facilities, such as dialysis centers.

Here’s what we’re doing to keep you safe at Sentara:

    • Cleaning ProtocolsFollowing enhanced and thorough infection prevention cleaning and sterilization protocols. Our protocols meet or exceed national guidelines for COVID-19 in the healthcare setting such as those recommended by the CDC, WHO, OSHA, FDA, EPA, and other professional groups.
    • Following recommended guidelines for the number of air changes per hour in each room, between procedures, when the room has been used by an infectious patient (such as COVID-19 patients). There are minimum standards for air changes in each room in all hospitals. For example, every operating room is required to have 20 air changes per hour.
    • Using EPA-approved disinfection/cleaning supplies.
    • Cleaning all equipment according to manufacturer instructions.
    • Using comprehensive, multi-step checklists to clean patient rooms between each visit and at the end of the day in all of our facilities.
    • Our detailed checklists ensure staff members are aware of and following our cleaning requirements, including how to clean high-touch areas and all other surfaces, how to safely wear and remove their personal protective equipment, and how to use our UV light disinfection technology.
    • CDC-recommended protocols are in place for cleaning and managing bathrooms, light fixtures, furniture, medical waste, laundry, food service utensils and other items.
    • Aggressively cleaning our common areas to wipe down surfaces and shared objects between each use with a focus on high-touch surfaces such as chair armrests, doorknobs, hand scanners, and pens.
    • Providing hand sanitizer to guests and staff members in all Sentara facilities.
    • Hand Hygiene ProtocolsProviding patients and visitors in all Sentara facilities alcohol-based hand sanitizers that meet CDC requirements.
    • Strictly enforcing hand hygiene for all healthcare professionals and staff using an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Please question the staff if you have not witnessed them performing hand hygiene.
    • Ensuring that supplies meeting CDC requirements necessary for adherence to hand hygiene are readily accessible for patients and staff.
    • Patient and Employee Screening and Testing ProtocolsPre-screening patients before appointments.
    • Screening all healthcare professionals, employees, patients and visitors who enter a Sentara facility, including no-touch temperature checks.
    • Conducting robust in-house COVID-19 testing, and testing our employees as needed.
    • COVID-19 testing is no longer required for pre-op patients who have a scheduled surgery or procedure if they can show proof of being fully vaccinated from COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means the patient must be at least two weeks past the date of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series, or two weeks past their first dose in a single-dose vaccine.
    • Pre-op patients who are not fully vaccinated or cannot show proof of vaccination must complete a COVID-19 test 48 hours in advance of certain scheduled surgeries or procedures.
    • Patients who complete a pre-op COVID-19 test are required to self-quarantine between the test and procedure.
    • Masking ProtocolsMasks are required for all individuals inside healthcare settings, regardless of vaccination status, according to the CDC and state departments of health.
    • Healthcare settings are defined as hospitals, doctors’ offices, long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home healthcare, vehicles where healthcare is delivered (for example, mobile clinics) and outpatient facilities such as dialysis centers.
    • All who are inside Sentara Healthcare clinical facilities in areas where patients or visitors are present are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
    • Social Distancing ProtocolsPracticing social distancing at all of our facilities and requiring masks for all employees, patients, and visitors.
    • Reducing wait times to limit the number of people in waiting rooms.
    • Keeping our waiting rooms spaced out and decluttered, with magazines and extra chairs removed.
    • Asking some patients to wait in their cars after checking in.
    • Placing markers on the floor to indicate appropriate spacing between patients waiting to register.
    • Separating patients in our emergency departments by COVID-19 status.
    • Implementing thoughtful visitation policies.
    • One visitor or caregiver is allowed to accompany patients in need of assistance at their scheduled Sentara Medical Group appointments. All other visitors are prohibited at SMG offices at this time.
    • Check our current hospital and Life Care facility visitation policies here.
    • Learn about our visitation policyCOVID-19 confirmed patients (not at end-of-life) or patients awaiting COVID-19 test results are not allowed any visitors.
    • COVID-19 patients who are at end-of-life AND are undergoing any Aerosol Generating Procedure (examples include if the patient is intubated, on a ventilator or on high flow oxygen) can have 1 visitor outside of the room behind a glass window with a mask on.
    • COVID-19 patients who are at end-of-life AND NOT undergoing any Aerosol Generating Procedure (examples include if the patient is intubated, on a ventilator or on high flow oxygen) can have 1 visitor in the room in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Hospital staff will provide appropriate PPE for the visitor aside from the mask the visitor is required to have when entering the hospital. Or, the 1 visitor can stand outside of the room behind a glass window with a mask on.
    • Additional Safety MeasuresHaving dedicated equipment to use only for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.
    • Recommending telehealth appointments when appropriate.
    • We recommend telehealth appointments for those who do not want to come into the practice, are unwilling to wear a face mask, have symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, have co-morbidities that do not require in-person care, or are conducting annual wellness visits.
    • Click here for information about what types of visits we are currently conducting in our offices.
    • Adapting to new information and consulting with subject matter experts to reassess and update our policies, safety practices and cleaning protocols as often as needed.