UVM Health Network Expands Visitor Access at Vermont Hospitals, But Some Restrictions Remain

With certain exceptions, visitors will be asked to show proof of full vaccination and are asked to bring their vaccination cards

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Based on the latest guidance from the State of Vermont, The University of Vermont Health Network is easing some visitor policy restrictions effective April 2 for fully vaccinated people in inpatient areas at its Vermont hospitals. Some restrictions will remain in place to protect the health and safety of patients and staff. Policies vary slightly by hospital, so visitors are encouraged to check first before visiting.

Family members and loved ones are valued members of the health care team and play a critical role in supporting the wellbeing of patients. Inpatients will now be allowed one fully vaccinated, healthy visitor per day. Visitors will be asked to show proof of vaccination except in certain circumstances outlined in each hospital’s policy. Examples of exceptions where unvaccinated people may visit include end-of-life care, pediatrics and labor & delivery.

“Protecting our patients and staff is always our top priority and we are happy to be able to allow visitors in some instances, as we learn more about COVID-19 and as vaccination rates increase in Vermont,” said John Brumsted, MD, CEO of the UVM Health Network. “We appreciate the community’s continued help with masking, social distancing and other measures to ensure we control the spread of COVID-19.”

Please view individual hospital websites to confirm policies before visiting:

UVM Medical Center
Central Vermont Medical Center
Porter Medical Center

Everyone entering UVM Health Network facilities must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth for the entire time they are in the building. They must also follow current Vermont state quarantine guidelines, and not visit if they have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19. All visitors will be screened for a fever and COVID-19 symptoms before entering and should be prepared to show proof of vaccination. Anyone with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 will not be allowed to visit. Those not able or willing to wear a mask will not be allowed to enter.

Beginning on April 2, the following changes will take effect for inpatient areas and Emergency Departments:

  • Inpatients are allowed 1 healthy, fully vaccinated visitor per day
  • Pediatric patients are allowed 2 parents/guardians (vaccinated or unvaccinated)
  • For end-of-life care, family presence will be managed by the care team. In general, 2 visitors may be permitted at a time (vaccinated or unvaccinated)
  • Limited other exceptions exist for unvaccinated visitors, such as for patients with communication or special needs

The following changes will take effect at outpatient areas:

  • No visitors are currently being permitted for adult patients at UVM Medical Center to maintain social distancing; Central Vermont Medical Center and Porter Medical Center will now allow 1 vaccinated visitor
  • 1 healthy parent/caregiver should accompany pediatric patients (vaccinated or unvaccinated)

Outpatient visitors may be allowed for the following limited exceptions:

  • One support person is permitted in rare circumstances for a patient who requires assistance to access care, such as for patients with communication or special needs
  • Patients receiving distressing news or end-of-life planning
  • Obstetrics patients are permitted to bring one support person to their 20-week ultrasound appointment.

Note: While these guidelines are consistent across the UVM Health Network’s Vermont hospitals, each location may have some small differences in their individual policies.

General Notes:

  • Visitors to pharmacies who present with any symptoms during screening will be stopped at the entry and provided a pamphlet with the pharmacy phone number. Patients with symptoms will be instructed to exit the building and call the pharmacy and a staff member to deliver prescription to the patient’s car.
  • All family members and support persons will be asked to clean their hands upon entry and exit from any unit, patient room, or clinic and upon entry and exit from the building.
  • Security will be called to respond to any family members/visitors who present significant safety concerns, including unwillingness to mask or comply with social distancing requirements, or refusing to leave when asked on the basis of these concerns.
  • Visitation rules apply equally to employees who wish to visit friends or family regardless of whether they are on or off duty.
  • This policy may be modified on a case-by-case basis for unique circumstances.
  • No outside customers allowed at gift shops, only staff on duty and patients with appointments.
  • Paying bills in person is not allowed at this time.

More information about COVID-19 is available at:

www.uvmhealth.org/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html


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:

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.

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