BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — Patients at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) are now permitted to have a visitor as long as the individual is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The change follows the loosening of visitor restrictions at hospitals declared by Vermont Governor Phil Scott last week.
The new policy allows patients in several departments and who do not need a required caregiver to have a fully vaccinated visitor instead. Those departments include the emergency department, inpatient units, and adult outpatient visits.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last required dose of their respective vaccine. The new policy does not affect the perioperative, women’s and children’s, and pediatric departments because those departments allow patients to be accompanied by a caregiver regardless of vaccination status.
The previous policy indicated that only a required caregiver was allowed to accompany a patient in the emergency department, perioperative department, adult inpatient units, adult outpatient appointments, pediatric appointments, and inpatient stays.
Everyone is required to stop at the check-in desk located at entrances in the hospital, Medical Office Building, and standalone practice sites.
New protocols in place for the updated police include:
- Those visiting will be asked to present their vaccination card or a photo of their vaccination card on their mobile device
- 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 the mouth and nose for the entire duration of the visit. Those who do not comply will be asked to leave the property
- Everyone will have their temperature checked at the check-in desk. 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 at this time
- All non-staff 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