Visitor Guidelines

Current Visiting Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Friday  | 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday – Sunday 

Please read carefully. Restrictions apply to inpatient and outpatient visits throughout the hospital and practices. 

Southwestern Vermont Health Care's priority is the safety of our patients, employees and visitors. The love and support of family and friends can be very important to the healing process. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are limiting the number of visitors to our facilities to assure the safety of our patients and the providers and staff caring for them. 

This policy will continue to evolve based on the most up-to-date information and guidance from federal and state authorities, and revisions will be made with the goal of limiting the spread of COVID-19, flattening the curve, and assuring a healthy workforce who can care for current and future patients.

This information was last updated on September 1, 2020

All Visitors:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older*.
  • Will be screened for symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection. Visitors who are sick or have any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, or new onset of loss of taste and smell) may not visit under any circumstances. (See Check In below)
  • Must wear a mask or cloth face covering when in any Southwestern Vermont Health Care building. If they do not have a mask, a surgical mask will be provided upon arrival. Visitors are required to wear the mask continually until they leave any building, as well as practice hand hygiene and social distancing.
  • Will be instructed to stay in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit.
  • Visitors are not allowed for patients with COVID-19.

Check In Process:
Everyone—patients, caregivers, and visitors—is required to stop at the check-in desk located near the hospital and Medical Office Building entrances.

  • All are expected to arrive wearing a mask or face covering. Those who do not have a mask will be provided one. All masks must be worn over both the nose and mouth for the entire duration of the visit. Those who do not comply will be asked to leave the premises.
  • Patients who are symptomatic or have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be provided with a medical-grade face mask.
  • Caregivers and visitors with symptoms of any kind and those who have had contact with someone positive for or suspected of having COVID-19 are not permitted at this time.
  • All non-staff persons entering an SVMC building will be given a sticker marked with the date and department they are visiting and are asked to keep the sticker visible and remain in the area of service for the entire time they are in the building.
  • Everyone is expected to sanitize their hands upon entry and exit from the building, units, and patient rooms.

* No one under the age of 18 permitted, unless you are the patient receiving service. You will be asked to reschedule your appointment if accompanied by a minor.

Inpatient Visitors

  • One unique visitor is permitted for the duration of the entire inpatient stay.
  • Only visit the person you have checked in to see. If you would like to visit another patient, you must go back to the check-in station to check out of your first visit and initiate another. Note that you must be indicated as both patients' sole visitor. 
  • Don’t enter any patient room with a sign on the door. If you see a sign on the door, please check in at the Nurses’ Station.
  • Please do not wander hallways or common areas.

Exceptions to the inpatient guidelines include the following:

  • Patients nearing the end of life may have two visitors at a time. Visits with those under 18 years old must include an adult and are limited to 30 minutes.
  • Patients who have a disability may have a family or friend caregiver*, who is necessary for their care, and a visitor.
  • Partners and spouses of expectant and recently delivered mothers are welcome 24 hours a day. (One caregiver 18 or over)
  • Pediatric inpatients may have up to two primary caregivers.

Please note that individual departments may have additional constraints or requirements beyond these guidelines, based on the need to maintain patient and staff health and safety. Patients, caregivers, and visitors should contact the specific department or unit they hope to visit, if they have questions.

* Caregiver: a person who is a family member, friend, or other support person whose presence is required for physical or cognitive support associated with the patient’s health care.

For Outpatient Visits, the Policy is as Follows:

  • Visitation to the Emergency Department is limited to one caregiver or individual for the duration of the stay.
  • Adult outpatients should attend appointments alone, unless physical or cognitive support is needed. Outpatients who need a caregiver may bring one, provided that person is symptom-free.
  • Prenatal appointments may be attended by both the patient and one caregiver. We strongly encourage others, including children of expectant families,not to attend appointments.
  • Pediatric patients in the outpatient setting may have one adult caregiver only. We stongly encourage no children, other than the patient scheduled to receive care at the time of the appointment, should attend the appointment.
  • Patients are asked to go directly to their appointments and not to wander in hallways or common areas.

Virtual Visits:

Both inpatients and outpatients who would benefit from additional support during a visit or stay should request the use of technology to bring important family and friends virtually into exam and hospital rooms.

SVMC has an extraordinary team of professionals and dedicated community leaders all committed to ensuring that COVID-19 and the flu have the lowest impact on the health of our community. Thank you for visiting SVMC.

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