BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — Beginning Tuesday, June 15, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), is updating its visitation policy for hospital visitors and medical practice patients as well as expanding its visiting hours. The change follows an announcement by Vermont Governor Phil Scott that discontinued COVID-related restrictions now that the state has reached a vaccination rate of 80% of eligible people.
Visiting hours have been expanded to 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily.
Everyone, including patients, staff, and visitors, are required to wear a mask or face covering, regardless of vaccination status. Those who do not have a mask will be provided one. All masks must be worn over the mouth and nose for the entire duration of the visit. Those who do not comply will be asked to leave the premises.
The numbers of visitors allowed varies by department and the age and condition of the patient:
- One visitor per adult patient is allowed in the perioperative areas (including the Operating Room, Endoscopy, and Medical Infusion), imaging, lab, and practices in the Medical Office Building.
- Adult patients birthing with Women’s and Children’s Services may have a birth partner for the duration of the stay and one visitor at a time.
- Two visitors are allowed at a time for inpatients, including those using the Emergency Department, East and West Wings, and ICU.
- Pediatric patients—both inpatients and outpatients, regardless of area—may have up to two visitors at a time.
- There are no limits to visitors for patients at the end of life.
Patients, caregivers, and visitors:
- Are required to stop at the check-in desk located at entrances in the hospital. 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. The check-in is necessary for the purposes of contact tracing.
- Those entering the Medical Office Building will be screened once they reach the practice they are visiting.
- 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 are not permitted.
- Everyone is expected to sanitize their hands upon entry and exit from the building, units, and patient rooms.
- 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.