Central Vermont Medical Center Identifies COVID-19 Case

Release Date: 
March 14, 2020

Patient is quarantined at home

Berlin, Vt. – In collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health, Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) is reporting that an individual in the Central Vermont community tested as presumptive positive for the novel Coronavirus COVID-19.

The test results will go to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for confirmation. The patient was screened by the medical center’s emergency department earlier this week, and sent home to self-quarantine per CDC guidelines. Upon receiving the presumptive positive test result, CVMC clinical staff notified the individual. The Vermont Department of Health will follow protocol and continue monitoring.

“Our care and concern goes out to this individual and their family, and we stand ready to provide care to any member in our community who needs our care.” said CVMC President and COO Anna Noonan. “As always, CVMC is steadfast in our commitment to our patients and our community. We are ready to manage this pandemic and have implemented protocols, policies and practices that will allow us to continue to provide the best care possible for our patients, our Woodridge residents and their families, while limiting exposure to the virus for our staff and our community.”

Early this week, per its emergency response plan, CVMC stood up a command center to direct the hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes monitoring patients and visitors entrance into their facilities, reviewing inventory and supply chains, and providing support for staff. CVMC is working closely with affiliate hospitals through the UVM Health Network, as well as other hospitals in the region, our communities, the state of Vermont, and the CDC.

To limit the spread of the virus, CVMC is implementing the following changes:

  • Visiting hours will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. All visitors will be screened prior to entering the main medical facility. The South Entrance of the hospital is closed.
  • Only two visitors allowed per patient, and no visitors under the age of 16.
  • Our rehabilitation and long-term care facility, Woodridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, is closing its doors to in-person visits. Loved ones will still be able to “visit” virtually using video conferencing equipment. Call (802) 371-4792. A letter was sent explaining the details of our visitation guidelines to families of our residents.
  • Community practices will screen all patients and visitors upon arrival.
  • Weekend lab draw will be suspended March 21.
  • Pediatric offices have paused their morning walk-in clinic. Parents should call prior to appointments.
  • Scheduled events on campus will be canceled.
  • Note that dialysis and radiology hours are not changed at this time.

“We’ve modified our visitation policies, and also renovated the emergency department ambulance garage – converting it to a respiratory evaluation and screening area,” said Noonan. “By early next week, we will launch a screening center that will be located off site to reduce the volume of patients and screenings we are doing on our acute care campus.”

To conserve staff and resources, CVMC is asking that Vermonters do the following:

  • Self-assessment: Before calling or visiting CVMC or its affiliates about COVID-19, perform a self-screen. Most people infected with the coronavirus will have mild symptoms including a fever and cough, much like the common cold. In these cases, the best place for recovery is at home. Drink plenty of water, rest, and avoid public areas. For self-monitoring information, call the Vermont Department of Health at 802-863-7240, option 3.
  • Escalation: If symptoms are of greater concern, and include shortness of breath, contact your primary care provider or visit the CDC website to assess your symptoms before calling or coming to the emergency department. COVID-19 tests are only performed after a provider completes a screening and consults with the Vermont Department of Health.
  • Where to go: If you are in distress, call 911 or come in to the CVMC Emergency Department to be screened for testing. When you walk in, you will be provided with a mask to wear in order to protect others. Please DO NOT go to CVMC’s ExpressCare locations with COVID-19 concerns.

COVID-19 is spread through droplets in the air, so coughing and sneezing can spread to nearby people. It's likely it can contaminate surfaces as well. The incubation period is thought to be 14 days. While coronavirus is front and center in the news, we are still in the peak of flu season. There are several simple steps that can help prevent the spread of the flu and coronavirus, including:

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Clean your hands frequently – use portable alcohol sanitizer and wash your hands before you eat.
  • Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hands.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Avoid crowded spaces.
  • Avoid traveling to countries the CDC has highlighted as having widespread, sustained transmission.

More information is available at www.uvmhealth.org/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx, or healthvermont.gov/covid19