In response to increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across Vermont and the northeast, Northwestern Medical Center (NMC) is re-tightening its visitation policy to the level in place during Vermont’s April, 2020 COVID-19 peak. Restarting on Friday, November 13, general visitation will not be allowed at NMC. An individual support person will be allowed access with a patient when specifically needed, such as for pediatric patients, expectant mothers, patients with cognitive disabilities, and patients at end of life. By reducing the number of people present in the hospital and other medical facilities, the risk for transmission is reduced and efforts to preserve access to necessary care are strengthened.
On November 12, Vermont set a new daily record with 109 new cases of COVID-19. Governor Scott has identified this as “a new phase of the pandemic.” Dr. Mark Levine of the Vermont Department of Health has said, “To stop the spread, to protect each other, we need to act now. We are on the threshold — the decisions we make today will truly determine our future.” With this, NMC and other hospitals across the state are taking appropriate actions, including reconsideration of visitation.
“We know family members and loved ones play a key role in supporting and comforting those who are sick and ill,” said John Minadeo, MD, NMC’s Chief Medical Quality Officer, ”However, as we seek to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are making temporary changes to our visitor policy to protect the health of our staff, patients, and visitors.”
NMC’s updated visitation policy specifies that individuals serving as a support person must be over the age of 18. It clarifies that support person must remain with the patient while in the facility. Support people are expected to provide and wear their own appropriate face covering. For more information on NMC’s visitation policy, please visit: https://www.northwesternmedicalcenter.org/patients-visitors/for-patients/open-and-safe/ If you have specific questions, please call NMC’s Patient Relations Team at 524-8875.