As Vermont Drops COVID-19 Restrictions, Masking Still Required in Health Care Settings
Vermont Business Magazine With the state of Vermont dropping its State of Emergency order and COVID-19 restrictions, The University of Vermont Health Network is updating visitor access policies to reflect the state’s successful vaccination efforts. But masking requirements remain in place at the Network’s Vermont hospitals based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Family members and loved ones are valued members of the health care team and play a critical role in supporting the wellbeing of our patients. We welcome visitors and ask that anyone visiting patients in our facilities or accompanying loved ones for care continue to follow our policies and masking requirements.
Please note, policies may vary slightly by hospital and vaccination requirements may still be in place at some facilities so visitors are encouraged to check first before visiting.
“Vermont continues to lead the nation in vaccinations. That has allowed the state to ease restrictions and also made it possible for the UVM Health Network to update our visitor access policies. Protecting our patients and staff remains our top priority, and we appreciate the ongoing cooperation from our communities,” said John Brumsted, MD, President and CEO of the UVM Health Network. “We have made incredible progress together and we are grateful for all of the support we have received.”
Please view individual hospital websites to confirm policies before visiting:
The following policies apply to everyone entering UVM Health Network facilities in Vermont:
- All visitors must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry. Those with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) will not be allowed to visit.
- All visitors are required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth for the entire time they are in the building. Those not able or willing to wear a mask for the duration of their time in the building will not be permitted entry or allowed to remain within our facilities. A mask will be provided if you do not have an acceptable face covering.
- Only ADA service animals are permitted. All others animals, including previously approved therapy dogs/support animals, or service animals in training are not allowed at this time.
Visitors are allowed in inpatient/acute care and emergency departments according to the policy below:
- Adult inpatient units: Two healthy support persons at a time are permitted on adult inpatient units. One support person may be permitted to remain overnight, but masking is required at all times regardless of whether the support person is sleeping. Children may be included as one of the two support persons, however family members are asked to consider the appropriateness of the visit, assure any child visiting is symptom-free and can wear a mask throughout their time in the hospital. No visitors are permitted if patient is COVID-19 positive or a patient under investigation for COVID-19. Every effort will be made to facilitate remote visitation from loved ones until the patient is discharged or deemed to be no longer infectious.
- Patients in End-of-Life Care: Visitation for patients, for whom death in the hospital is imminent, will be managed by their care team. In general, up to four support persons will be welcomed at a time when a patient is nearing or at their end of life and permitted to remain at the bedside without restriction on hours.
- Labor and Delivery: Two healthy designated support persons are allowed on birthing units, extending through the post-partum stay on the mother-baby unit. One support person may stay overnight. If an infant is required to stay after the mother is discharged, visitation should follow the pediatric guideline.
- Inpatient Pediatrics: Two parents/guardians are allowed at the bedside. Either one may accompany pediatric patients overnight. As needed, siblings are permitted. Parents are asked to assure any child visiting is symptom-free, remains in the patient room, and can wear a mask throughout their time in the hospital.
- Inpatient Psychiatry: Two healthy, fully vaccinated support persons are permitted at a time. Due to the environment on these units, support persons must be fully vaccinated, defined as being at least 14 days out from a single dose vaccination (e.g., Johnson and Johnson) or at least 14 days out from the second shot of a two-dose vaccine (e.g, Pfizer or Moderna).
- Emergency Department: Two healthy support people are welcome at the bedside, unless the patient is COVID-19 positive or a person under investigation for COVID-19. Support persons are not able to wait in the waiting room but can join the patient once in an assigned room. Two healthy parents/guardian at a time are welcome for pediatric patients. The care team will make determinations for patients in end-of-life care. All support persons must follow the Emergency Department visitor sign-in process.
All support persons allowed to visit are strongly encouraged to remain in the patient room during the duration of their visit, limit traffic in hallways and avoid congregating in waiting rooms, cafeterias and lobbies before, after or between visits. Family members/support persons are permitted to leave and re-enter the building but must be rescreened upon each entry. Family members are strongly encouraged to limit repeated entry and return.
Visitors are allowed as outlined in the below areas:
- Surgical/Procedural Areas: Two support people are permitted to escort an individual who is arriving for any procedure requiring sedation or general anesthesia. As appropriate, the support persons may be present at the bedside in both the Pre-op and PACU settings.
- Outpatient Clinics: One healthy support person may accompany patients to outpatient clinic appointments, including diagnostic imaging, laboratory and urgent care appointments. Two healthy parents/guardians may accompany pediatric patients to outpatient clinic appointments. Siblings may be permitted to attend an outpatient appointment when alternate care arrangements cannot be made.
More information about COVID-19 is available at:
About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is an integrated system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives.
The partners are:
- The University of Vermont Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Porter Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Home Health & Hospice
Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our affiliates remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.
Source: BURLINGTON, Vt. – 6.15.2021. The University of Vermont Medical Center. UVMHealth.org/MedCenter