CVMC Visitor/Welcoming Policy
Effective Date: September 8, 2021
Within the UVM Health Network, we recognize that family members and loved ones are valued members of the health care team and play a key role in supporting the wellbeing of our patients. As we continue to manage the impact of Covid-19, our network is continuing to adjust our welcoming policy to protect the health and wellbeing of our patients and families, our staff, and our community.
Everyone allowed to enter Network healthcare facilities:
- Will be screened for Covid-19 symptoms prior to entry. Those with symptoms compatible with Covid-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) will not be allowed to visit.
- Is required to wear a surgical mask that covers the nose and mouth for the entire time they are in the building. Those not able or willing to wear a mask for the duration of their time in the building will not be permitted entry or allowed to remain within our facilities. A surgical mask will be provided if you do not have an acceptable face covering.
- All visitors/support persons must be healthy and fully vaccinated unless they meet an exception listed below
- Only ADA service animals are permitted. All other animals, including previously approved therapy dogs/support animals, or service animals in training are not allowed at this time.
Inpatient/Acute Care and Emergency Department:
Adult Inpatient Units
- 2 healthy fully vaccinated support persons at a time are permitted on adult inpatient units during the following hours:
- Weekdays: 5:30 am-8 pm
- Weekends: 5:30 am-6 pm
- 1 support person may be permitted to remain overnight, depending on room occupancy, however, masking is required 24/7 regardless of whether the support person is sleeping.
- No visitors permitted if patient is Covid-positive or a patient under investigation for Covid-19 (PUI).
- Every effort will be made to facilitate remote visitation from loved ones until the patient is discharged or deemed to be no longer infectious.
- Visitation for patients, for whom death in the hospital is imminent, will be managed by their care team.
- In general, up to 4 support persons, regardless of vaccine status, will be welcomed at a time when a patient is nearing or at their end of life, and permitted to remain at the bedside without restriction on hours, fully masked.
Labor and Delivery
- 2 designated healthy adult fully-vaccinated support persons are preferred on the birthing unit, extending through the post-partum stay on the Women and Children’s Unit.
- As an exception, 1 of the 2 designated support people may be an unvaccinated adult.
- 1 support person may stay overnight.
- If an infant is required to stay after the mother is discharged, visitation should follow the pediatric guideline.
- 2 parents/guardians, regardless of vaccine status, may stay with their child, including overnight.
- 1 healthy adult, fully-vaccinated support person is permitted at a time during the following hours:
- Weekdays: 2:30-4 pm and 6-8 pm
- Weekends: 2:30-4 pm only
- Due to the open environment on this unit, support persons must be fully vaccinated, defined as being at least 14 days out from a single dose vaccination (e.g., Johnson & Johnson) or at least 14 days out from the second shot of a 2-dose vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna).
- Visitors will be asked to call ahead to plan a visit due to the limited space on the unit and in order to maintain social distancing.
- On a case-by-case basis, the treatment team will consider allowing an allowing an additional provider (case worker, therapist, spiritual support person, etc.) to visit.
- 2 healthy, fully-vaccinated support people are welcome at the bedside, unless the patient is Covid-positive or a patient under investigation for Covid-19 (PUI).
- Support persons may not wait in the waiting room, but can join the patient once in an assigned room.
- 2 healthy parents/guardians, regardless of vaccine status, at a time are welcome for pediatric patients.
- The care team will make determinations for patients in end-of-life care.
Exception for all above departments:
- 1 unvaccinated support person is allowed for patients with communication needs (i.e., persons who are deaf or who do not understand/speak English), or patients with a cognitive impairment or disability who require assistance to access care.
Process for exceptions to Inpatient/Acute Care and Emergency Department policies:
- Any additional exception to this policy can only be made by the physician and nurse leader of the unit impacted. If the care team cannot reach consensus with regard to limited exceptions, the Chief Medical Officer, or the ANC on evenings, nights, and weekends, will be the final decision maker in all cases.
- All support persons allowed to visit are strongly encouraged to remain in the patient room during the duration of their visit, limit traffic in hallways, and avoid congregating in waiting rooms, cafeterias and lobbies before, after, or between visits.
- Family members/support persons are permitted to leave and re-enter the building, but must be rescreened upon each entry. Family members are strongly encouraged to limit repeated entry and return.
- 2 fully-vaccinated support people are permitted to escort an individual who is arriving for any procedure requiring sedation or general anesthesia.
- As appropriate, the support persons may be present at the bedside in both the pre-procedural and recovery settings.
- As an exception, 1 unvaccinated individual may accompany a patient that requires sedation or general anesthesia when no other support is available, or if the patient has communication needs, cognitive impairment, or a disability that requires assistance to access care.
- 1 fully-vaccinated support person may accompany patients in the Infusion Room.
- 1 healthy support person over the age of 12 may accompany patients to an outpatient clinic.
- In the OB/GYN clinic, infants are allowed to attend postpartum visits with their mother.
- Any outpatient clinics within the hospital building, including OB/GYN and Family Medicine - Main Campus will allow 1 healthy fully-vaccinated support person to accompany a patient.
- 2 healthy parents/guardians may accompany pediatric patients to outpatient clinic appointments.
- Siblings may be permitted to attend an outpatient appointment when alternate care arrangements cannot be made.
Woodridge Rehabilitation & Nursing:
- Visitors should be healthy and may visit regardless of vaccine status. All visitors will be screened for Covid-19 symptoms, and follow all requirements regarding personal protective equipment (PPE).
- All visitors to Woodridge must be 6 years of age or older with the ability to maintain wearing their mask at all times.
- Visitation is permitted five days per week during the following hours:
- Mondays | Tuesdays | Thursdays | Fridays: 10 am-6 pm
- Saturdays: 10 am-4 pm
Across all settings, interpreters are not considered support persons. The UVM Health Network provides professional interpreting service by hospital-contracted interpreters, who are members of the care team. Support persons should not be asked to interpret.
All family members and support persons will be asked to clean their hands upon entry and exit from any unit, patient room, or clinic, and upon entry and exit from the building.
- Visitors who are actively eating and drinking in cafeteria areas may remove masks, but are encouraged to keep time spent without a mask on to a minimum.
- Security will be called to respond to any family members/visitors who present significant safety concerns, including unwillingness to mask or refusing to leave when asked on the basis of these concerns.
- Visitation rules apply equally to employees who wish to visit friends or family regardless of whether they are on- or off-duty.
- This policy will be modified on a case-by-case basis for unique circumstances.