COVID-19 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, and other serious conditions, like the flu. 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?

See answers to all testing-related question here.

How do I get vaccinated?

For all vaccination-related questions, refer to this page.

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.

Is it safe to go to my medical or dental appointment at SVMC?
Yes. It's safe to come to SVMC for your appointment. Check with your provider to see if a telemedicine appointment would work for you. When you come to SVMC for your appointment. You will see signs for the virtual waiting room. Dial the number, wait in your car, and you’ll get a text when your provider is ready to see you. You’ll answer some COVID-related questions and get your temperature taken when you enter. Everyone will be masked properly. Practices that see patients who have respiratory symptoms or those who do aerosolizing procedures (like Dentistry) have been outfitted with negative-pressure rooms. This airflow-management system vents airborne particles safely outside. With all of these precautions, SVMC and its practices are the safest public places anywhere.

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.

Can I travel or host family at my house? 
Doctors and nurses get this question all of the time. It usually involves a few extra details that people mistakenly believe will make their trip or visitor the exception to the rule. Sadly, all non-essential travel should be avoided. While it is difficult for us to say this, it is the simple truth. While it is possible to pull off the quarantining and testing regimen necessary, it is neither easy nor a guaranteed protection. It's best to stay put and encourage others to stay put, as well.

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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