Visitor Guidelines

VISITORS FOR HOSPITAL PATIENTS
In response to a sustained surge in cases of COVID-19 throughout New England and to mitigate the spread of the virus, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), has discontinued in-person visits for hospital patients.

The policy has some exceptions.

  • If an adult inpatient or perioperative patient (those using surgical, endoscopy, or medical infusion services) requires someone for physical or cognitive support associated with the patient’s health care, they are allowed one symptom-free person.
  • Patients at the end of life may have two visitors at a time. Others may wait in a vehicle or away from the building. Minors must be accompanied by an adult and are limited to visits of 30 minutes or less.
  • Expectant and delivered mothers are allowed one unique care partner for the duration of the stay and, if requested, one doula.
  • Pediatric inpatients may have two primary care partners for the duration of their stay, as condition and space allow.
  • A member of the clergy may visit upon request to the care team. 

FOR OUTPATIENT APPOINTMENTS
The policy for outpatient care has not changed since initial restrictions were implemented in early March to decrease the effects of COVID-19.

  • Adult outpatients and Emergency Department patients should attend appointments alone, unless they need physical or cognitive support. Outpatients who require a caregiver may bring one, provided that person is symptom-free.
  • Prenatal appointments may only be attended by the patient. Others, including children of expectant families and caregivers, should not attend appointments.
  • Pediatric patients in the outpatient setting may have one adult caregiver with them.

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.

CHECK-IN STATION
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. All masks must be worn for the entire duration of the visit. Those who do not comply will be asked to leave the premises.
  • Each out-patient and visitor will be asked to step in front of the temperature station to have their temperature calculated before entry.
  • Patients who are symptomatic or have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be provided with a medical-grade facemask.
  • 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.

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