Visitation Policy Effective 6/16/2021
Within the UVM Health Network, we recognize that family members and loved ones are valued members of the healthcare 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 well-being 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 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. Commercial masks with outflow vents are not permitted. A mask will be provided if you do not have an acceptable face covering.
- Only ADA service animals are permitted. All others 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: Two healthy support persons at a time are permitted on adult inpatient units between the hours of 5:30am-8pm weekdays and 5:30am-6pm weekends. One 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. Children may be included as one of the 2 support persons, however family members are asked to consider the appropriateness of the visit, assure any child visiting is symptom-free and can wear a mask throughout their time in the hospital. No visitors permitted if patient is COVID+ or a patient under investigation for COVID. Every effort will be made to facilitate remote visitation from loved ones until the patient is discharged or deemed to be no longer infectious.
- Patients in End-of-Life Care: 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 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: Two healthy designated support persons are allowed on birthing units, extending through the post-partum stay on the Women and Children’s unit. One support person may stay overnight. If an infant is required to stay after the mother is discharged, visitation should follow the pediatric guideline.
- Pediatrics: Two parents/guardians at the bedside between the hours of 5:30am-8pm weekdays and 5:30am-6pm weekends. Either one may accompany pediatric patients overnight. As needed, siblings are permitted. Parents are asked to assure any child visiting is symptom-free, remains in the patient room, and can wear a mask throughout their time in the hospital.
- Inpatient Psychiatry: Two healthy, fully vaccinated support person is permitted at a time 2:30pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm weekdays and 2:30-4pm weekends. Due to the environment on these units, support persons must be fully vaccinated, defined as being at least 14 days out from a single does vaccination (e.g., Johnson and Johnson) or at least 14 days out from the second shot of a two-dose vaccine (e.g, Pfizer or Moderna).
- Emergency Department:
Two healthy support people are welcome at the bedside, unless the patient is COVID+ or PUI. Support persons are not able to wait in the waiting room but can join the patient once in an assigned room. Two healthy parents/guardian at a time are welcome for pediatric patients. The care team will make determinations for patients in end of life 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 CNO, 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.
- Two 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-op and PACU settings.
- One healthy support person may accompany patients to outpatient clinic appointments, including diagnostic imaging, laboratory and ExpressCare appointments.
- Two 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 and Nursing
- Visitation is by appointment only. Please contact Dana Figeroa for details and to arrange a visit.
- 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.