Community Updates

Read community updates on COVID-19 from CVMC President and COO Anna T. Noonan.

Friday, June 26, 2020

CVMC Launches Advanced Tech in COVID-19 Screening Process

Thermal imaging

Thermal imaging automatically verifies that patient, visitor, and staff temperatures are in normal range.

Berlin, Vt. – The Central Vermont Medical Center announced today that patients, visitors, and staff entering its main hospital will now have their body temperature read by a thermal imaging camera.

Since March 21, anybody entering a CVMC facility is required to pass a temperature screening due to COVID-19 concerns, but most methods of taking temperatures are time consuming, uncomfortable or invasive – creating lines as the hospital has returned to normal patient volumes.

“This technology greatly improves the experience and increases the speed and safety of the screening process,” said CVMC Vice President of Human Resources and Clinical Operations Robert Patterson. “Once people answer a few questions about their health, they simply walk into the facility and their temperature is automatically taken. It greatly decreases the time it takes for them to enter, eliminates the need to remove their masks, and decreases the time they spend in close proximity to our staff, which keeps everyone safer.”

The new technology also significantly reduces the number of CVMC staff who need to be involved in the screening process – allowing them to attend to patient care.

“We redeployed CVMC staff to work as COVID-19 screeners while patient volumes were low,” said Patterson. “As things have picked up, a lot of folks need to return to their clinical roles to take care of our patients.”

CVMC’s Montpelier-based security system vendor Vermont Security, LLC recommended the system after learning about growing lines and other issues created by the screening process.

"We take our time to really understand the problems our clients are wrestling with. Then we build a customized solution to improve their operations,” said Jesse Harper, President and Founder of Vermont Security.

“With our non-contact thermal temperature solution our clients automate the temperature screening process. This minimizes the number of secondary checks, significantly reducing human resource cost, improving safety, and enhancing the employee and patient experience when entering the building ” further explained Harper.

Media availability:

View the new technology in action.

CVMC and Vermont Security representatives will be available to demonstrate the technology on Tuesday June 30th.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

COVID-19 Update: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO, to the Community

A CVMC emergency department RN tests the PAPR system

A CVMC emergency department RN tests the PAPR system.

June 29, 2020

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

Central Vermont continues to have a low prevalence of COVID-19. At CVMC, we have not had a positive COVID-19 patient admitted to our hospital in the past 7 weeks.

As Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, reiterated this week, we as a nation are not yet on the other side of this pandemic. Our region is not an island, and so the potential for a resurgence remains.

I would like to thank everyone who continues to adhere to social distancing, masking and other infection prevention recommendations from the Vermont Department of Health – these efforts have a significant impact on reducing the transmission of this virus.

CVMC’s team continues to stand ready to provide the care our community needs and has moved forward by making COVID-19 response systems core to our daily operations. Stated another way, our ability to respond to COVID-19 cases has become our “new normal.”

A few examples of this include educating our staff to use additional Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) systems. This equipment is reusable and reduces our dependence on the fragile global supply chain for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These PAPRs protect our team and are more comfortable to wear than the PPE we used early in our pandemic response.

For the safety of patients and staff, CVMC has required COVID-19 screening for everyone entering our facilities since March 21. While this measure is critical to ensure patient and staff safety, methods available to read temperatures have been time consuming and inconvenient for those entering our main facility – especially as the number of patients entering our facilities has increased over the last month.

To address these issues, CVMC is the first hospital in the state to adopt a new thermal technology that will automatically check the temperatures of everyone entering our hospital, as well as the Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing facility.

Thermal imaging of a visitor

Thermal imaging automatically verifies that patient, visitor, and staff temperatures are in normal range.

Implementing these types of innovations ensures that CVMC remains accessible, safe, and stands ready to meet your current and future health care needs.

With Gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Friday, May 29, 2020

COVID-19 Update: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO, to the Community

Green Mountain Boys fly over CVMC. Photo by Alison White.

Green Mountain Boys fly over CVMC. Photo by Alison White.

May 29, 2020

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

Last Friday, the Vermont Air National Guard’s Green Mountain Boys provided a flyover of CVMC and all the hospitals in the state. Many staff and community members came out to watch this salute to our health care team for their efforts during the COVID-19 response.

Community prevalence of COVID-19 remains very low in Central Vermont. The last patient admitted to CVMC with COVID was 26 days ago. In the last two weeks, we have performed 1200 tests for COVID-19 and none have returned positive.

This negative testing trend is true for much of Vermont, which is why Governor Scott announced that Vermont hospitals would be able to provide elective procedures that require overnight stays. This expansion is in addition to the time-sensitive elective procedures CVMC has been providing since May 11.

Our practices are seeing more than 90% of last year’s volumes, and other departments and units are not far behind. CVMC’s safety record and the low community prevalence of the virus is attracting patients from outside our traditional service area.

I want to acknowledge the continued community support for CVMC. Our team is committed to assuring the highest quality care and service in a safe and efficient environment.

Central Vermont Medical Center remains committed to our mission “Central to our community. Caring for a lifetime.” Throughout this pandemic, we have demonstrated that with your support we can overcome any challenge.

With Gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Friday, May 15, 2020

COVID-19 Update: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO, to the Community

Woodridge Nurse Carol S. cares for a resident and CVMC Acute Respiratory Clinic staff

Left: Woodridge Nurse Carol S. cares for a resident. Right: Acute Respiratory Clinic staff.

May 15, 2020

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

Vermont Department of Health Community Prevalence Map
(accessed May 14)

Starting on Monday, May 11, CVMC began seeing patients with time-sensitive care needs in our hospital and clinic practices. This is part of our measured, and carefully planned movement to a “new normal” in how we provide services, and is driven by data that suggest a significant drop of community prevalence of COVID-19 in Central Vermont.

These plans build off the extensive COVID-safety measures, which have kept our patients, residents, and staff safe during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Safety and quality of care at CVMC are always our top priority. I am incredibly proud of CVMC’s COVID-19 safety record, which is a testament to both your adherence to Governor Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and our staff’s expertise and diligence in the face of the unknown.

As of today, here is where CVMC stands:

  • No positive COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized in nearly two weeks.
  • To date, we have had no COVID-19 positive residents at CVMC’s Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing facility.
  • It has been more than 21 days since a CVMC employee tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Only five of our 1800 employees contracted the virus – the majority of these occurred in March and half of those were travel-related. All CVMC staff who tested positive made a full recovery.

These are hopeful and promising signs. I want to thank you for all your support over these past several months. Your donations and words of gratitude and encouragement helped our team push through an extremely challenging time. Thank you for your continued support. Together, we are making progress towards a safe and healthy “Go Forward phase” for Central Vermont.

With Gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Thursday, May 7, 2020

COVID-19 Update: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO, to the Community

CVMC's Acute Respiratory Clinic

CVMC's Acute Respiratory Clinic.

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

Thanks to your continued vigilance and adherence to the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, we have collectively reduced the community prevalence of COVID-19 in Central Vermont.

With Governor Scott’s amended order allowing limited elective procedures, CVMC is expanding our services. Starting Monday, all CVMC practices will begin increasing the number and types of in-person clinic visits and procedures we provide to our patients. Safety remains our top priority and we have systems and protocols in place to assure your continued safety and that of our team.

Our newest service is our drive through Acute Respiratory Clinic. The goal of this clinic to provide efficient, effective, and convenient service to our patients who have a respiratory condition in a centralized location. Patients without respiratory symptoms will continue to be seen by their primary care clinicians.

Our operations going forward will continue to include the following:

  • Telehealth visits.
  • COVID-19 testing.
  • COVID-19 Call Center: (802-371-5310).
  • Screening everyone entering our buildings for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Requiring that everyone wear a mask within CVMC facilities.
  • In-car check-in at our practices.
  • Enhanced "COVID-safe" check-in at our emergency department
  • Emergency department separation of respiratory and non-respiratory patients.
  • Floor markings and distanced seating to encourage six feet of separation.
  • Modified patient flow through inpatient care areas.
  • Intensive sanitization protocols and removal of all permeable surfaces and materials from common areas

I want to emphasize the importance of not delaying your health care. We are here to support you in receiving the care that you need, when you need it. Please call your primary care provider to determine if a video or in-person visit is appropriate for you.

As we continue to adjust to a “new normal” know that we are committed to supporting your continued wellness, safety and health promotion. Take advantage of the CVMC COVID-19 Call Center (802-371-5310) for any COVID-19 related questions you may have.

Central Vermont Medical Center is here to support you, as our community emerges from Governor Scott’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order.

With Gratitude,
Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Friday, May 1, 2020

COVID-19 Update: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO, to the Community

CVMC Emergency Department staff prepare for a COVID-19 drill

CVMC Emergency Department staff prepare for a COVID-19 drill.

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

Thank you for continuing to do your part to help Vermont begin to flatten the COVID-19 curve. I couldn’t be more proud of our team’s dedication to ensuring that the healthcare needs of our community are met during this pandemic.

As we see positive downward trends in the prevalence of the virus, the ramifications on households, businesses, and hospitals across our state and Central Vermont Medical Center have been profound.

You may recall, to conserve personal protective equipment and reduce the risk of transmission to patients, residents, and staff, CVMC suspended non-essential clinic visits, surgeries, procedures, diagnostic and laboratory tests, and support services such as physical and occupational therapy. At the same time, we made necessary investments, implementing systems to care for and treat those who required our care. These included a COVID-19 testing center, call center, and drive-through acute respiratory clinic, to name a few.

To meet your care needs while sheltering at home, we have made a significant investment in telehealth services to support you in engaging in telephone or video visits with our providers. You can learn more about those services here.

While these investments were critical, CVMC—just like many hospital systems in Vermont—experienced significant financial losses in March and will likely see greater losses in April. We are taking steps to address these shortfalls, and I am confident that as we resume services, CVMC’s financial health will improve.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have overcome innumerable obstacles as a team. While we have challenges ahead of us, I am confident with your continued support, we will be successful in navigating them, and together we will emerge a stronger organization and community.

With Gratitude,
Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Thursday, April 16, 2020

COVID-19 Update: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

Thanks to our dedicated CVMC team of professionals and with your support, we continue to provide high quality care and services to our community during this COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a brief summary of some of our efforts to date.

We launched our incident command center on March 8th – using this structure to rapidly implement new systems, services, and policies to assure we continue to deliver the care needed during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is always the safety of patients, residents, and our CVMC team.

We are grateful that to date only four employees have tested positive and no employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three weeks.

In our hospital we stand ready with a plan that will accommodate as many as 30 COVID-19 positive and 30 COVID-19 rule-out patients. To enable that plan, we now have 30 negative pressure rooms throughout our facilities. These spaces offer additional protection to our staff and patients when needed.

CVMC nurses donning PPEs

Our 23 practices, from the Mad River Valley to Barre, have come together to deliver services to patients in new ways. Together, these practices created and staffed a COVID-19 hotline (802-371-5310), a drive-up COVID-19 collection site, and a drive-through acute respiratory clinic for patients who need non-urgent respiratory care. Our team has made telehealth services available throughout CVMC’s practices. This enables our providers to complete a clinical visit while you stay safe in your home.

We know that older adults are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Our Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing team has been steadfast and vigilant in protecting our residents. We were among the first to screen all staff prior to entry into the facility and have taken other measures to assure the safety of our residents. We are very pleased to tell you that we have had no cases of COVID-19 among our residents. CVMC is also reaching out to help community care homes and assisted living facilities, supporting them in keeping older Vermonters safe.

Thus far, we have not seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Central Vermont. Thank you for following the “stay home, stay safe” directive from Governor Scott. We believe your actions have helped to blunt the curve of transmission, keeping your neighbors and our health care team safe.

We appreciate the outpouring of support from our community!

Visit #ThanksHealthHeroes to view some of the messages and photos that have been sent to us, and share your own!

None of these outcomes would have been possible without your support and the efforts of our incredible CVMC team of professionals. Every day, I hear and see how our staff are rising up to the meet the challenges presented by this pandemic.

As we navigate these uncertain times, I know that our team stands ready to support the health and wellness of the Central Vermont community.

On behalf of all of us, THANK YOU for supporting our health care heroes!

With Gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer

Monday, April 6, 2020

Community Response to COVID-19: Donating Masks

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

Last week, the State of Vermont made two announcements about COVID-19 that are relevant to our community.

On April 2nd, the state released COVID-19 modeling indicating that cases will peak in mid-April under “likely scenarios.” This aligns closely with CVMC’s planning timeline, and we stand ready to respond to that surge in patient volumes. As part of CVMC’s Incident Command Center structure, Matt Choate, RN, our Chief Nursing Officer and VP of Patient Care Services has been leading a multidisciplinary team developing CVMC’s comprehensive surge plan.

The plan articulates locations, staff, and equipment needed to care safely for increases in COVID-19 patient volumes. I am grateful to the team of providers, nurses, support and ancillary staff who have been working diligently to ensure our capacity meets projected community need.

On April 3rd, the Vermont Department of Health Commissioner, Mark Levine, MD recommended that all Vermonters use cloth masks when in public. Both Commissioner Levine and Governor Scott emphasized that the “stay home and stay safe” order is still in effect, and these masks should be used when engaged in essential trips outside the home.

With this masking recommendation, CVMC is actively looking for volunteers to sew cloth masks for staff without close patient contact. Use of cloth masks for our employees who are not in contact with patients will support conserving our personal protective equipment (PPE) for members of our team engaging in direct patient care. Click here for CVMC’s mask making directions, and drop off locations.

We continue to accept donations of N95 masks, face shields, and more. You may view ways you can help here.

Staying home remains the best way to protect yourself, family members, and health care professionals. Please know how grateful we are to everyone who is doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We are all in this together and we will continue to support each other as we prepare for what lies ahead.

With gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Community Response to COVID-19: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO

CVMC health care providers conducting COVID-19 testing at popup

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

We are deeply grateful for all that you are doing to support Central Vermont Medical Center as we prepare for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients.

First, your efforts to follow Governors Scott’s request to “stay at home and stay safe” is critical to flattening the curve of transmission within our community.

Since my last communication to you, we received over 100 messages of support from community members to our staff. We have posted these messages throughout our facilities. Thank you for showing our team that you stand with them. It means more than I can convey.

I want to highlight an innovative initiative that has stemmed from our region’s “Accountable Community for Health” partnership, THRIVE. A group of THRIVE members have come together to create the Washington and Northern Orange Counties Regional Response Command Center (WNOC-RRCC) which is focused on saving lives by reducing hospital surge. They will assist state and local efforts and fill gaps where needed to ensure our most vulnerable Central Vermont community members have what they need to stay safe during this difficult time.

I would like to acknowledge the response center’s Unified Commanders, Sue Minter, Executive Director of Capstone Community Action; Eileen Peltier, Executive Director of Downstreet Housing & Community Development; and Joan Marie Misek, District Director of The Vermont Department of Health, along with other THRIVE community partners for their foresight and leadership as they seek to safeguard the most at risk among us during these uncertain times.

This incredible partnership takes a conventional emergency management command center approach and adapts it into a community-based response that directly contributes to our capacity for swift and effective crisis response. You may learn more about the command center here.

We thank you all for everything you are doing to help flatten the curve and for your continued support of Central Vermont Medical Center.

With gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Monday, March 23, 2020

Facing COVID-19 Together: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

Over the last month, CVMC’s team of health care professionals have been hard at work to assure our readiness to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. My goal is to share the steps we are taking to keep you and our staff safe, in addition to local developments as they occur.

Today, I wanted to thank you for the outpouring of support that we have seen from our community.

Two central Vermont community members outside of CVMC with sign thanking hospital workers

Whether it is showing up with a sign to cheer on our staff, offers of supplies, or nurses coming back from retirement, our community is truly coming together and helping wherever possible.

Thank you for all of the offers of help and letters of support. These gestures are what ground and sustain our team as we strive to ensure our readiness to address the challenges ahead.

In the coming days, we will be sharing how you can help meet the needs of our community partners and CVMC as we face this crisis together.

For now, your words of encouragement are appreciated. Feel free to voice your support by sending a message to: CVMC.PFCC@cvmc.org. We will happily share these messages with our staff.

With gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Update: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO

Dear Central Vermont Community Members,

I am writing to inform you that the Vermont Department of Health confirmed that a provider at Central Vermont Medical Center has tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19. This news hits very close to home for our team and we are hopeful the individual will make a full and complete recovery.

After discussions with our infectious disease team, we have concluded that this provider may have been contagious on a day that they were working at CVMC. Out of an abundance of caution, we have contacted all patients and staff who may have been exposed to this individual and recommended self-quarantine for 14 days.

The individual was asymptomatic at the time they were working, developing symptoms late in the evening. They are currently under self-isolation at home.

This situation highlights the unusual challenge of this virus. People can be asymptomatic, meaning they feel well and are not presenting with symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever over 100°, cough or shortness of breath, while still having contracted the virus.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of social distancing and self-isolation at this time. These two measures will reduce risk, “bending the curve” of this pandemic.

Earlier this week, CVMC cancelled all non-essential surgeries procedures and office visits to reduce staff and patient exposure and to prepare for surge capacity need. We are further restricting visitors across our sites to reduce the risk of exposure to those receiving and providing care. Details regarding the policy changes are available here. Beginning tomorrow all CVMC employees will be screened upon entry into our facilities.

Over the past several weeks I have witnessed our team’s incredible response to the ever changing demands of this pandemic. Their professionalism, commitment, ingenuity and leadership is amazing. With all of the challenges, our team comes in every day to do what they do best – provide the highest possible care and service to our patients, residents and their families.

I know you stand with us in support of our patients, providers, staff and community as we navigate what lies ahead.

These are extraordinary times. By continuing to work together, we can help each other stay safe. Thank you for the work each of you are doing to slow the spread of the COVID-19.

With gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Friday, March 20, 2020

Central Vermont Medical Center Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

Hospital Has Notified Those Potentially Exposed, Advising Self-Quarantine and Monitoring

Berlin, Vt. – A Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) provider has been confirmed as COVID-19 positive. The employee interacted with a small group of patients and staff while asymptomatic, and has been in self-isolation since becoming symptomatic.

After receiving the positive notification from Vermont Department of Health, hospital clinical and human resources teams immediately traced and notified contacts of their possible exposure. Self-quarantine and monitoring for symptoms have been recommended to those potentially affected. CVMC is not able to share more details due to HIPPA restrictions.

“This news hits very close to home for our team here and we are hopeful this individual will make a full and complete recovery,” said Anna Tempesta Noonan, Central Vermont Medical Center President and COO. “We are working around the clock to protect our employees, patients and Woodridge residents in this most unprecedented time. This situation highlights the unusual challenge of this virus. People can be asymptomatic, meaning they feel well and are not presenting with symptoms of COVID-19, while they may have contracted the virus. Like all health care providers, we are working with the health department and other stakeholders to limit further exposure for our team and our community.”

Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, CVMC is recommending that anyone potentially exposed should self-quarantine for 14 days, monitor for COVID-19 symptoms carefully, and call their doctor should their condition worsen.

As of Wednesday, CVMC cancelled all non-essential surgeries and procedures to reduce staff and patient exposure and to prepare for surge capacity need. The hospital is still providing essential services, and the public should continue to come to the hospital for care as needed. 
“I urge the community to continue social distancing to protect each other and our health care teams. We are all in this together and this action will minimize risk,” Noonan continued.

More information about COVID-19 and self-monitoring information is available at:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

CVMC COVID-19 Update: Non-Essential Procedures

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.

With gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

Sunday, March 15, 2020

COVID-19 Update: A Message from Anna T. Noonan, President and COO, to the Community

Dear Members of the Central Vermont Community,

I am writing today to update you on the status of the novel coronavirus in our health service area.

On Saturday, in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health, Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) confirmed 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 our medical center’s emergency department earlier this week, and sent home to self-isolate 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.

This information comes on the heels of both President Trump and Governor Scott declaring states of emergency Friday evening. We can assure you that even before these declarations, our emergency response plans were in place, and our CVMC team was working to deliver the best care possible for our patients, our Woodridge residents and their families, while limiting staff exposure to the virus.

I want to reassure you that CVMC is well prepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two weeks ago, per our emergency response plan, CVMC stood up a command center to direct our organization’s response. I want to recognize our CVMC team of professionals, who are steadfast and deeply committed to assuring that our patients and community receive the best care possible.

Thank you all for cooperation and support as we continue to partner with you through these challenging times.

With gratitude,

Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS
President and Chief Operating Officer
Central Vermont Medical Center

 
 
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Central Vermont Medical Center Identifies COVID-19 Case

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