COVID-19 ALERT: For the latest COVID-19 updates from UVM Health Network, click here. If you feel sick, please call your doctor before leaving home.

For Health Care Providers

The UVM Health Network is working with the Vermont Department of Health to coordinate preparedness efforts to contain and treat COVID-19 informed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C​DC). Our highest priority remains providing safe, quality care for all patients.

We have included a collection of resources for health care providers.

If you are an employee of UVM Health Network or one of its affiliates, please reference your affiliate’s intranet or document-sharing site for up-to-date policies and protocols.

Status Update

UVM Health Network is caring for patients with COVID-19. Our hospitals are busy and we have suspended some normal operations as a result. We will report status updates here.

IMPORTANT: To conserve vital resources (test collection kits, personnel effort, PPE, etc.), please do not order testing for healthy people in the community with mild URI symptoms and no co-morbidities, as noted in the Health Alert from the Department of Health on 3/20/2020

We urge our statewide community providers to discontinue COVID-19 testing for their patients who screen positive for fever and cough, but do not have severe symptoms such as shortness of breath or co-morbidities that put them at higher risk.  Those patients should be asked to stay home and self-quarantine.

This protocol will allow us to focus testing and other resources for those who need it most, including nursing home residents, inpatients, and sick patients at risk of being hospitalized.


  • (3/31/20): Most of us in working health care today have never seen a health care crisis of this magnitude in our careers. As we watch the experiences of hospitals in places like Italy and New York, and prepare ourselves for the surge that is headed our way, it is easy to let our anxiety get the better of us. Members of UVM Medical Center Psychology team have put together this tip sheet to help you manage your stress so you can be best prepared to care for your patients.

  • (3/30/20): VT Board of Medical Practice passed special provisions for the COVID-19 public health emergency to facilitate practice in Vermont by healthcare professionals who are not licensed in Vermont, including changes for physicians (MD), physician assistants, podiatrists, retirees and residents or fellows who hold training licenses. Learn more.

  • (3/27/20): As the UVM Medical Center community further prepares for the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that we must take an “all-hands-on-deck” approach and utilize all the resources we have at our disposal.  This means that many of us may be needed to work in areas and in a scope of practice different from what we are accustomed to.  Additionally, to meet the anticipated needs of our community, we are calling on all medical professionals to help. Please use this form to update your most current contact and practice information via this link as soon as possible so that we can best organize our efforts: https://uvmhn-covid19-clinician-signup.azurewebsites.net/.

  • (3/25/20): UVM Medical Center New Guidelines for Phlebotomy and Lab Services Guidelines for use of Phlebotomy and Lab Services during COVID-19 response have been updated. Read the update. 

  • (3/25/20): Palliative Care Toolkit: During the COVID-19 pandemic, priorities of palliative care – quality of life, defining patient goals, pain and symptom management and support for caregivers – have never been more crucial. The volume of seriously ill patients may exceed the capacity of palliative care clinicians in our Network. These guidelines are intended to provide an extra layer of support to any clinician managing serious illnesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Download the toolkit. 

  • (3/24/20): Guidelines for prescribing hydroxychloroquine: Claude Deschamps, President and CEO, UVM Health Network Medical Group, issued a message about restricting the use of hydroxychloroquine. Additionally, on March 26, the Vermont Department of Health issued this release cautioning against using non-approved drugs for COVID-19 treatment.

  • (3/17/20): Effective immediately, UVM Health Network is suspending all non-urgent elective surgery, procedures and diagnostic tests in order to safeguard our patients and staff. Non-urgent elective encounters are defined as any surgery, procedure, diagnostic test or clinic visit that can be safely delayed or deferred, without threat to the immediate health and safety of the patient. Read the press release.

Frequently Asked Questions for Health Care Workers

Answer

UVM Health Network facilities are very busy caring for the sickest patients. Every center will do its part, likely stretching beyond their usual clinical comfort zone. We have a system in place to determine where the sickest patients should receive care. Emergency room and hospital physicians desiring to discuss transfer should call 1-866-648-4UVM (4866).

Answer

The lab will share COVID-19 results with the ordering clinician and the Vermont Department of Health. It is the responsibility of the ordering clinician to notify the patient of the results. In addition, the Vermont Department of Health will monitor results and may contact the patient to collect additional epidemiological information. When making a decision regarding the disposition of a patient with a positive COVID-19 result, please consult the FAQ on this page.

Answer

Health care workers (HCW) who wore PPE during exposure to a patient with COVID-19 should be safe. If HCW were exposed to a known COVID-19 patient without PPE, they are at risk and should contact their supervisor. Per CDC guidelines, they will need to check their temperature twice daily and remain alert for respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath).

Answer

Stay home and call your supervisor for guidance. Call your primary care provider if you:

  • Are sick enough to require urgent medical care
  • Have mild respiratory tract infection symptoms (fever, new cough, new shortness of breath), AND very high risk of severe disease: 65 or older, immunocompromised (cancer, solid organ transplant, other immunosuppressive drugs, chronic lung disease, hemodialysis, advanced HIV)
  • Have mild respiratory tract infection symptoms (fever, new cough, new shortness of breath) AND very high risk of COVID-19 (known lab-diagnosed COVID-19 case, travel to CDC level 3 countries)
Answer

Here is guidance for triage of a suspected coronavirus patient in UVM Medical Center ambulatory clinics, as well as care of a suspected coronavirus patient. Also see testing criteria, referring patients for testing and transferring patients above.

Here’s how your practice can help hospitals be ready to care for the sickest patients:

In order for the region’s hospitals to provide life-saving care to the sickest patients, we need every practice to do their part. Educate your patients. Refer them to online information. Encourage social distancing. Encourage stable patients to stay home and avoid transmission. See patients selectively, and apply the testing criteria carefully.

Network hospitals will be taxed by the COVID-19 epidemic, so please support leaders doing thoughtful triage and allocating hospital beds for the very sickest patients. This includes encouraging asymptomatic and mildly ill patients to stay home, and referring only the sickest or highest risk patients for testing and/or urgent clinical care. Refer to our testing criteria above.

Answer

Most COVID-19 questions can be addressed via this and other online resources. The infectious diseases service is in high demand and will be utilized strategically to support clinicians with known or suspected COVID-19 cases. In the event you need additional guidance, please call:

UVM Medical Center Provider Access Service: 802-847-2700 or 800-639-2480

Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) COVID-19 Hotline: 802-371-5310

Porter Medical Center: 2-1-1 OR 1-866-652-4636

Alice Hyde Medical Center, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) and Elizabethtown Community Hospital: New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-3065 for testing instructions, or the local health department (LHD) where the patient resides:

  • Essex County Health Department: (518) 873-3500
  • Clinton County Health Department Health Care Services Division: (518) 565-4840
  • Franklin County Public Health Services (518) 481-1709

COVID-19 Protocols for Health Care Providers

Protocols for managing patients diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 are fluid. We will make every attempt to keep this page updated to ensure clinicians are acting in concert with the latest information.

If the protocols on this webpage do not answer your questions, and you have a time-sensitive question about COVID-19, you can call the numbers listed below for your area. We are experiencing a high volume of calls. To ensure the sickest patients get the care they need, please consult the frequently updated materials on this webpage before calling.

UVM Medical Center Provider Access Service: 802-847-2700 or 800-639-2480

Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) COVID-19 Hotline: 802-371-5310

Porter Medical Center: 2-1-1 OR 1-866-652-4636

Alice Hyde Medical Center, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) and Elizabethtown Community Hospital: New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-3065. Also see CVPH's page for medical professionals for updates on services and COVID propotocals.

These protocols are specific to UVM Medical Center. While we are doing everything we can to standardize protocols across the UVM Health Network, because of the unique environments at each of our affiliate hospitals, protocols may vary by location.

Screening & Testing 

Screening Information

Algorithm for Screening 

Guidance for Homecare 

Testing Information 

Ambulatury Testing Criteria 

ED Testing Criteria 

Instructions for Collection and Specimens for Coronavirus 

Clinical Test Request Form 

Clinical Guidelines & Workflows

COVID-19 Management Guide

Use of Hydroxychloroquine

Ambulatory

Guidelines for Caring for a COVID-19 Patient in an Ambulatory Clinic 

Birthing Center

Labor & Delivery Workflow CVOID-19 

Laboratory Services

Guidelines for Phlebotomy and Laboratory Services 

Radiology

COVID-19 Radiology Screening & Workflow 

Surgery

Periop & Procedural Area Response Plan

Patient Transport

Ambulance Transport of Patients with Infectious Disease

Palliative Care

Palliative Care COVID19 Toolkit

Protecting Yourself

Employee Risk Assessment 

Fact Sheet for Staff with COVID-19 Contact

Cleaning

Equipment Cleaning 

PPE & Room Cleaning Flowsheet 

PPE

WHO: Rational use of personal protective equipment for COVID-19 

PPE Guidelines 

PPE Sequence - Donning and Doffing Instructions 

Hand Hygiene & Cough/Sneeze Etiquette 

Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer (video)

Soap & Water (video) 

Cough & Sneeze Etiquette (video) 

“Stop the Spread” in translation

“Help Keep Illness from Spreading” handouts in various languages

Additional Educational Materials

 

 

External Links
WHO situation summary (best viewed in Chrome, Firefox or Safari)
CDC situation summary
CDC on how you can stay safe
Vermont Department of Health COVID-19
New York State Health Department
Johns Hopkins COVID epidemic map
New York Times COVID outbreak coverage (no paywall)

Disclaimer

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. All information is meant for use by healthcare workers and not the general public. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. No physician-patient relationship is created by this web site or its use. Neither UVM Health Network nor its employees, nor any contributor to this web site, makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use. All copyrights to UVM Health Network web site and its contents are the property of the UVM Health Network unless otherwise noted. Except when indicated, permission is hereby granted to reproduce, distribute, and display copies of content material for nonprofit educational and nonprofit library purposes, provided that copies are distributed at or below costs and author and source are acknowledged. No commercial uses are allowed without the prior express permission of the UVM Health Network.