ST. LOUIS ( -- John Cochran VA Hospital in midtown St. Louis is welcoming very few visitors.

Hospital managers know almost anyone could pass the coronavirus to another person including someone who doesn't know they have it, so the medical team is now taking a closer look at all who enter the VA's doors to help ensure safety.

Three weeks ago, staff started screening everyone entering the building.

"The screening is a series of taking temperatures and asking some questions," said hospital director Keith Repko. "Because we don't know if a staff member or veteran is shedding a virus even if they don't have any symptoms."

Most non-patients are turned away out of caution.

"To try to keep the inside of our facility clean and as risk-free as possible," Repko explained.

Veterans say when they have appointments, the staff is very diligent in making sure all precautions are taken.

"They are real careful, trying to keep their distance and making sure you put your mask on and giving you your PPE," sait Army veteran James MeNeely.

Some veterans are taking advantage of emailing, calling, and video conferencing their doctors to minimize contact.

"It has gone up, at least five times, from what we were doing two months ago,” Repko said.

The VA said the screenings, which happen at various checkpoints of the hospital, don't seem to be slowing down service.

Doctors and nurses here are also reaching out to veterans to check on their well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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