UVM Medical Center

UVM Medical Center Resumes Limited Staff Masking Requirements

Staff members providing direct patient care will be required to wear masks beginning Thursday, January 11


Burlington, Vt. – Starting tomorrow, the University of Vermont Medical Center will resume mandated masking for staff members providing direct patient care.

Effective Thursday, January 11, employees are required to wear a mask in the following circumstances:

  • When in a patient room, exam room, or when providing direct patient care.
  • In non-patient-care interactions, upon a patient’s request.

The updated masking requirements apply only to UVM Medical Center employees. Masking remains optional in public areas of UVM Medical Center such as hallways, shuttles, nurses’ stations, and cafeterias. Patients and visitors with symptoms of respiratory illness continue to be required to wear a mask when in any UVM Medical Center facility.

The hospital encourages all employees, patients, and visitors to consider wearing a mask while in all UVM Medical Center facilities – especially if individuals are immunocompromised, are not feeling well, or have been recently exposed to someone with a respiratory illness.

Infectious disease specialists at the Medical Center say the decision to resume limited masking requirements for employees during direct patient care comes amid an increase in respiratory infections such as RSV, influenza, COVID and Rhinovirus in the community, as well as increased hospitalizations due to respiratory infections.

“Masking is a simple step that we can take to keep our patients safe and prevent staff illnesses and ensure that we are here to take care of our patients,” said Stephen Leffler, MD, president and chief operating officer of UVM Medical Center.

Leffler added that UVM Medical Center’s clinical leadership and infectious disease team will continue to evaluate local and regional trends in respiratory infections to determine when to lift the limited staff masking requirement. The hospital monitors data including sustained reduction in infection rates, admissions due to respiratory infections, respiratory virus test positivity, staffing levels and hospital acquired respiratory infections.