SVMC Updates Its Masking Policy
Ray Smith
/ Categories: NEWS, 2023

SVMC Updates Its Masking Policy

BENNINGTON, VT—April 6, 2023—Beginning April 10, 2023, masks will be optional for patients, visitors, and staff without any respiratory symptoms at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) and its campuses. Individuals with respiratory symptoms will still be required to wear a mask, and immunocompromised patients are encouraged to continue to wear masks.

SVMC has had a universal mask requirement in place since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitalizations for COVID and other respiratory illnesses have remained low for several months, and the health system vaccinated more than tens of thousands of community members at its widely successful resource center. Both of these factors provided excellent clinical indicators that the risk of COVID to staff and patients is low and that relaxing the hospital’s mask requirement was an appropriate and safe next step.

“As community transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses decrease, we are now able to safely move away from requiring healthy individuals from wearing masks in most circumstances,” stated Trey Dobson, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. “But anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms will be required to wear a mask.”

There remain situations where masks will be required at SVMC and its campuses. These include if you are not feeling well, have respiratory symptoms or illness, or if you have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19 within the last 10 days. Masks will continue to be available in the health system’s facilities, and welcome for anyone who chooses to wear one. Additionally, visitors should still not visit patients or accompany them to appointments if symptomatic. 

“We have appreciated the cooperation and support of our patients and visitors in maintaining our COVID protocols the past three years,” said Tom Dee, President and CEO at SVMC. “It has been a team effort keeping our community healthy as possible throughout the pandemic.”




About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, healthcare system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care is among the most lauded small rural health systems in the nation. It is the recipient of the American Hospital Association’s 2020 Rural Hospital Leadership Award. In addition, SVMC is a five-time recipient of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. The health system is fortunate to have the support of platinum-level corporate sponsor Mack, a leading supplier of contract manufacturing services and injection molded plastic parts based in Arlington, VT.

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

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