Frequently Asked Questions

I think I have symptoms. What should I do?
Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and often appear 2 – 14 days after you have been exposed to the virus. COVID-like symptoms may include cough, fever or chills, shortness of breath, body aches, vomiting or diarrhea or new loss of taste or smell. While this is not a list of all possible symptoms, you should call your primary care provider with any concerns you may have. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can call the COVID-19 Information Hotline for additional information. You can call the Respiratory Evaluation Center at 802-440-4077 to be seen the same day by a qualified provider.

Coronavirus has many symptoms in common with largely harmless conditions, like seasonal allergies. This chart from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows what symptoms COVID and allergies share. If you have no known exposure to COVID and only those symptoms that could be allergy-related, it is possible that you are simply experiencing allergies. You should contact your primary care provider with any specific questions you may have about symptoms.

COVID-like symptoms should not be taken lightly and you may need to seek immediate medical care if you have emergency warning signs of COVID-19, such as trouble breathing, pain or pressure in  the chest, confusion or are unable to stay awake.

How do I know when I should get tested?
The information in the grid below is most useful with two definitions:

  • To quarantine means that you stay at home, monitor symptoms daily, and call your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms.
  • An exposure refers to an instance when a person has been within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 or is likely to have COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more.
Have symptoms Contact your healthcare provider to ask about a test or attend a pop-up testing event. Testing locations, including state pop-up testing dates, times, and locations are listed here.
Are in quarantine because of travel guidance or because of a single suspected case Quarantine for 7 days after the last exposure, then contact your healthcare provider to ask about a test or attend a pop-up testing event. It takes your body some time to create a measurable load of virus. Those who wait 7 days after a single possible exposure are more likely to get an accurate result. Testing too early can lead to a false negative. Testing locations, including state pop-up testing dates, times, and locations are listed here. Alternatively, you can quarantine for 14 days with no testing.
Have been in close physical contact—within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes, especially unmasked—several times over the last 7 or more days Contact your healthcare provider to ask about a test or attend a pop-up testing event. Testing locations, including state pop-up testing dates, times, and locations are listed here.
Need a test to prepare for a medical procedure Arrange a test through the healthcare provider who is doing your procedure.
Have no symptoms and are not in quarantine Attend a pop-up testing event.  Testing locations, including state pop-up testing dates, times, and locations are listed here.


How do I schedule COVID testing?
A doctor’s order is required to receive testing at SVMC. Your doctor sends the order to the lab, and the lab calls you to schedule. Note that symptomatic patients may require an evaluation and testing in the Respiratory Evaluation Center (REC).

What does testing cost?
Health insurers are required to cover diagnostic testing at no cost share to patients in cases where an individual’s health care provider determines testing is needed based on symptoms or suspected exposure. For uninsured patients, testing that meets these criteria will be submitted to the HRSA uninsured program for payment. Testing performed for travel or return-to-work-or-school purposes is not considered medically necessary and, therefore, may not be covered by insurance. If you are having testing performed for reasons other than symptoms or suspected exposure, we recommend you contact your insurance for coverage guidelines, as you may be responsible for payment.

I am having a surgery. How do I get tested?
If your surgery is at SVMC, the surgeon will order the test and the lab will call you to schedule. If you are having a procedure at another hospital, they will likely provide the order for the test. If testing needs to be completed at SVMC, the physician should fax the order to 802-447-5388. The SVMC lab will call you to schedule your COVID test.

I have an issue with the date or time of my scheduled COVID-19 test. How do I fix it?
Call 802-447-5344 to change or cancel testing appointments.

How long will it take for my results to come back?
Test results can take up to 96 hours.

What do I need to do between when I get tested and when I know my results?
Between getting tested and receiving your results, it is important to quarantine. This means that you stay at home, limit contact with others, monitor symptoms daily, and call your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms.

How do I get my test results?
The quickest way to get your results is via the SVMC Patient Portal. Click here to get an account. A service for the delivery of negative results is in development now. Sign up for SVHC’s e-newsletter for more information as it becomes available.

I have food and housing needs. Where can I get help?
The COVID-19 Informational Hotline can connect you with a social worker, who can provide contacts and assistance related to financial assistance and meeting your food and housing needs. Our social work team is an excellent resource that can assist you in navigating any financial difficulties that you may be experiencing due to loss of income related to COVID-19.


Is Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) prepared to care for patients with COVID-19?
Yes. SVMC has cared for patients with COVID-19, as well as patients who were suspected of having the virus. Our Infection Prevention Team, comprised of doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, and respiratory therapists, is on hand to care for any patient suspected of having a high-threat infection who arrives at SVMC.

Upon arrival to all SVMC Campuses, and/or emergency department, patients are stopped to see if they have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath. This allows for early isolation of patients with potential COVID-19 symptoms.

What are the symptoms?
CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. 

How does it spread?
Click here to see our guide.

Should I Wear a Mask?
Yes. See details here. 

How many patients are you capable of isolating at once?
We have 44 rooms ready to isolate patients.

What is my risk, and what should I do?
Click here to see our guide.

What does social distancing mean?
Social distancing means that we don’t visit with those who live outside our homes, that we limit trips into public spaces as much as possible, and that we keep at least 6 feet from others at all times. Those who are doing this well are sending one member of the household to the grocery store or pharmacy no more than once a week.

How soon will those with mild symptoms recover?
People usually recover about 7 days after the onset of symptoms. Once you’ve been fever-free without fever-reducing medications for 3 days, you are considered cured. 

How will I know if there are cases of COVID-19 in my community?
Local departments of public health and the CDC are responsible for publicly reporting COVID-19 cases.

SVMC is committed to the privacy of its patients and complies with all applicable laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, (HIPAA).

SVMC does not share patient-specific information with the media without prior authorization. D-HH collaborates with public health authorities, including the CDC and local public health authorities, as appropriate. These authorities are best positioned to provide public health information.

If you don't see your question, call our COVID-19 Info Hotline at 802-440-8844. 

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