Dear Central Vermont Community Members,
Central Vermont Medical Center is an important anchor in our region. On any given day, each of our sites actively host patients, visitors, medical specialists, students and residents, community classes, meetings, and important health promotion programs such as the Vermont Foodbank’s VeggieVanGo mobile food pantry.
In the face of COVID-19, CVMC recognizes that all of this activity could present a risk to our patients, our residents at Woodridge, staff, and the community as a whole.
In my last communication, I shared that we have reduced visitation to our sites. After discussion with network leaders and our teams, we have made the decision to further limit visitation. This change will go into effect on Friday, March 20 to allow us time to communicate more specifics. Again, these restrictions are being instituted to enhance the safety of those we serve and our staff.
In keeping with the recommendations of the Surgeon General and other medical societies, we have canceled all non-essential surgeries and procedures, and non-essential clinic visits until further notice.
While we understand that these decisions will be disruptive for our patients, it is the right thing to do to promote their safety and that of our team. Stemming visitor flow, and eliminating non-essential surgeries and procedures will allow us to conserve much needed medical/surgical supplies, inpatient beds, and additional support services that would normally be used to provide these services.
In our medical practices, our health care providers will be able to focus on supporting our patients who need more immediate care, further increasing CVMC’s already expanded capacity to take on an influx of acute patients.
Our CVMC staff have already reached out to patients scheduled for non-essential surgeries, procedures, and clinic visits to notify them of this change. All attempts will be made to reschedule these once we return to a routine operational status.
I want to emphasize how hard our staff and leaders have worked to ensure that CVMC is ready to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few examples of our response plan include:
- Assuring our staff are safe by providing our team with instruction on the proper application and removal of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Expanding our inpatient capacity to care for patients by converting existing rooms to accommodate negative pressure protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Converting our ambulance garage in the ED to a respiratory screening area to segregate patients with respiratory symptoms from patients seeking other emergency services.
- Establishing a COVID-19 “Pop-up Collection Site.” This drive-up COVID-19 testing site is only available to patients by referral from their primary care provider and has already reduced strain on our phone systems and our emergency department.
- The actions noted above are just a few of the hundreds of measures implemented in the past several weeks to assure that CVMC is well prepared to respond to the health care needs of our community.
These are extraordinary times, and Central Vermont Medical Center remains committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of all Central Vermonters. Thank you for your partnership and understanding.
Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center