Prepare for Your Visit - VA San Diego Healthcare System
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VA San Diego Healthcare System


Prepare for Your Visit

Prepare for a visit: Everyone entering our facilities is screened, and visitors are limited. Face coverings are mandatory. Please contact us first before going to any of our locations. For some needs, you may be able to get care at home by phone or video.

Your Health and Safety is our Top Priority

For continued health and safety during the pandemic, visitors (including minor children) are not permitted in our medical facilities. Everyone who does enter must have an appointment –  unless the patient requires a caregiver’s assistance during their appointment.

***INPATIENT visitation is limited.  A Negative Covid-19 test (within 72 hours) or proof of full Covid-19 vaccination for ALL inpatient visitors are required.***  

If you are experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 9-1-1 or visit an emergency room closest to you.

Non-VA emergency room visit:  Veterans and all community hospitals and/or community providers must notify the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of a Veteran who self-presents to an emergency department within 72 hours of the start of the episode of care. This notification should take place through the VA Community Care Centralized Call Center (Call Center):

What to do if you think you have COVID-19?

If you are sick or have symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath), call our Call Center at (858) 552-7475 between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. For after-hours call center assistance, please call the VISN RN Triage line at 1-877-252-4866.

COVID-19 Testing

Currently, VA San Diego offers testing at the main facility and most community clinics. Testing is by appointment only and requires a provider order. If a Veteran suspects they have COVID-19 symptoms, we ask they contact their VA healthcare team or the Call Center at (858) 552-7475. We are also testing all patients admitted to our inpatient units, Community Living Center, and other inpatient residential programs in accordance with CDC guidance, and performing pre-procedure and pre-visit testing when needed. 

Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing

Drive-thru testing is available by APPOINTMENT. Veterans enrolled for care at the VA San Diego Healthcare System can call their provider to arrange for testing or the Call Center  ((858) 552-7475 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m). Testing is available at the following locations:


Hours of Operation  

La Jolla VA Drive-thru (By Appointment Only)
M-F 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. & M-F 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Mission Valley Drive-thru (By Appointment Only)
M-F 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Oceanside Drive-thru (By Appointment Only)
M, T, TH & F 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. & W 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Chula Vista Drive-thru (By Appointment Only)
M, T, TH & F 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. & W 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Sorrento Valley       

Drive-thru (By Appointment Only)
M-F 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
El Centro Drive-thru (By Appointment Only)
Tues - Th 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Safety Measures at our Facilities 

Your safety is important to us. The following measures have been implemented:

  • A Negative Covid-19 test (within 72 hours) or proof of full Covid-19 vaccination for ALL inpatient visitors are required.
  • All individuals must wear appropriate face masks while on our campuses and in our facilities; health care providers will wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Limited visitation to the inpatient areas; minor children are not permitted in our medical facilities; virtual visits are encouraged.
  • Entry point screenings.
  • Cleaning of high-touch surfaces in our facilities.
  • Increased physical distancing in common areas like waiting rooms, canteen, and retail stores.
  • VEText – VA is now using VEText to allow patients to text clinic staff they have arrived outside the facility and to receive further texted instructions before entering the building. When you arrive at the facility for scheduled appointments, text “HERE” to 53079, and your care team will notify you when it is time to check-in for your appointment. This process only applies to scheduled clinical appointments. See VEText Fact Sheet for details.

What to expect when you’re here?

When you come for an appointment, things will likely look a little different, and some of our processes have changed for your continued safety.

  • Currently, access to our facility is limited for emergency care or by appointment only (minor children are not permitted in our medical facilities).
  • Patients, visitors, and employees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entry into our buildings. Please allow a few extra minutes for this process.
  • Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • Caregivers will not be allowed to join you for your appointment unless you need them for mobility or cognitive support. Caregivers must be over the age of 18 and will be asked to follow the same screening guidelines and wear a mask. They will be asked to wait in the designated visitor parking locations. Your care team must have their contact information so we can call them when you are ready for pick-up.

Virtual Care Options

San Diego Veterans can access care 24/7 through the Clinical Contact Center by calling 1-877-252-4866 to get their health questions or concerns answered from the comfort and convenience of their home. 

VA Video Connect allows patients to see their provider through a live video appointment.  For more information regarding VA Video Connect or other virtual care options, visit or ask your healthcare team. To learn more, go to

Other COVID-19 Resources

For additional COVID-19 information and resources, please refer to VA San Diego COVID-19 Resource Guide or visit

Facility Status