We are pleased to be able to take care of your healthcare needs through outpatient and elective procedures. All of us must continue to be attentive to transmission prevention as we do. Please remember that our priority is the health and safety of you, our staff, families and neighbors and it takes everyone’s cooperation to stay protected. Below you’ll find some reminders, new routines we have in place when coming to the hospital and our provider practices and some commonly asked questions. We look forward to seeing you soon!

NMC has expanded access to vaccination into the evenings and weekends! Click here to learn more.

Please don’t put off your healthcare needs.

Now that proper safety processes are in place, it is important to follow through on the outpatient appointments and elective procedures recommended by your provider. Little problems now can become big problems later if they’re not taken care of or if care is delayed for too long. Taking care of yourself and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the best kinds of preventive medicine.

You have choices.

In addition to safe in-person care, we offer the option of telemedicine appointments with your same trusted provider through several of our practices. So whether transportation is an issue or you don’t want to expose others to your symptoms, you can be assured that we are still here to take care of you. And, as always, you can call your NMC provider if you have any questions.

Is it safe to come in to NMC?

Yes. NMC has put in place all the necessary processes to make in-person care safe for you and your loved ones, including:  

  • Rigorous cleaning and disinfection of all our spaces. Cleanliness has always been something we’ve taken pride in and we now clean even more frequently.
  • Social distancing measures. We have re-organized all our waiting spaces to ensure proper, six-foot distancing between patients and staff.  
  • Screening. We screen all patients, visitors, staff and vendors who enter our facilities. It is crucial that you are absolutely straightforward with our screeners about any symptoms you may have experienced. This allows us to ensure your care is provided properly, in a manner safe for you and for all involved. 
  • Vaccination record. Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination card with you if you have one. 
  • Masks. Cloth face coverings or surgical masks (aka procedure masks, hospital masks) continue to be required for patients and visitors entering our facilities. If you do not have a cloth face covering or surgical mask at home, we will have a supply of surgical masks at our entrances. 
  • Ongoing attentiveness. NMC is committed to staying up-to-date on clinical guidelines from health experts. We are here for you.  

Concerned you may have Covid-19?

Call Your Primary Care Provider.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath, respiratory symptoms) and are seeking medical advice, please call your primary care provider.

If you do not have a primary care provider, you may call NMC’s Community Relations Office at 524-1280 for referral to Primary Care or you may be seen at Northwestern Urgent Care on the NMC Campus at 133 Fairfield Street in St. Albans.

  • As always, if you have a medical emergency, please call 911.
  • If you have a primary care provider who is not employed by NMC, you can call their office.
  • If you have general questions about the coronavirus, please call 211. 

Current visitation policy

As of May 24, 2021, NMC has reopened patient visitation more widely in alignment with the Vermont Department of Health’s newest guideline. We are pleased to be able to take this step, as we know family members and loved ones play a key role in supporting and comforting those who are sick and ill. Still, as we seek to prevent the spread of COVID-19, limitations continue to be necessary.

Overview of Key Components:  

  • Patients are allowed to have as many fully vaccinated visitors as can safely be accommodated by the care environment. IMPORTANT NOTE: Some clinics/locations have stricter limits on visitation in order to maintain social distancing and patient safety.
  • Patients can have one unvaccinated support person with them if they have communication needs, cognitive impairment, disability, require assistance to acquire care, or if that patient identifies a person as a support person.  
  • Pediatric patients can have one unvaccinated parent, guardian, or support person visit or accompany them. These unvaccinated visitors/supports may alternate their visitation of the pediatric patient as appropriate.  
  • Same-day surgery patients can have one unvaccinated visitor/support person escort them.  

Extenuating circumstances, such as patients at the end of life, will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the care team. We are so pleased to be able to safely accommodate these visitors again.

  • Patients are allowed to have as many fully vaccinated visitors as can safely be accommodated by the care environment. IMPORTANT NOTE: Some clinics/locations have stricter limits on visitation in order to maintain social distancing and patient safety.
  • All visitors / support persons will continue to be screened and logged as they enter NMC.
  • All visitors / supporter persons are required to wear a mask/face covering.
  • Interpreters and members of the Clergy are part of the clinical care team and do not count as visitors or support people.
  • Visitation status is not limited by age, instead it is limited by vaccination status.
Our entrances are currently limited to two: The Medical Office Building and the Emergency Department. Limiting entrances allows us to control the flow of foot traffic in our facility and more efficiently screen patients and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms and proof of vaccination.

  • Patients/visitors currently enter NMC through the Medical Office Building for most purposes.
  • The Emergency Department entrance is only for Emergency Medicine services or for access during visitor hours when the Main Entrance is closed.
  • The main hospital entrance continues to be closed at this time.
  • The Conference Center and Conference Center entrance is for employees only at this time.
  • No visitors will be allowed in rooms of patients who are COVID-19 positive or with pending COVID-19 test results.
  • Please speak to a Nurse Manager about visitation for a patient at end of life.
In addition to the allowance of fully vaccinated visitors, the following also applies:

    • OBGYN Patients seeking pre‐natal care may have one (1) unvaccinated support person with them, if necessary.
    • Pediatric patients (under the age of 18) may have only one (1) unvaccinated support person (parent, guardian or other) if necessary.
    • Newborn patients 14 days of age or less may be accompanied by (2) two unvaccinated support people with them for visit.
    • Fully vaccinated visitors may accompany patients for their outpatient visits as social distancing allow.
  • Patients are allowed to have as many fully vaccinated visitors as can safely be accommodated by the care environment.
  • Interpreters and members of the Clergy will be allowed without restriction and are not counted a visitors or support persons.
  • Family Birth Center patients: Patients may have one (1) unvaccinated support person. This includes all pre‐natal visits in the OB Clinic. Fully vaccinated visitors are permitted as per policy.
  • Pediatric patients: Pediatric patients (under the age of 18) may have one (1) unvaccinated support person (parent, guardian or other) at a time, if necessary. Only two (2) total unvaccinated support people will be allowed for the duration of the patient’s stay. Pediatric support people may swap out with each other as needed.
  • If separated from mother, Newborn patients may have one (1) unvaccinated caregiver, if necessary (separate from the support person of the mother).
  • Newborn patients 14 days of age or less may be accompanied by (2) unvaccinated support people, if necessary, with them for visit.
  • Patients at end-of-life: visitation is possible and is managed by the care team.

Remember, visitors and support people are expected to bring and wear a mask. Thank you for your cooperation in these safety efforts.

 

Where do I get tested for Covid-19?

In June 2021, NMC closed its Curbside Testing service because of the significant reduction in need for COVID-19 testing. Current, patients are referred to their Primary Care Provider for COVID-19 testing. You can also have a COVID-19 specimen collection on a walk-in basis at either location of Northwestern Urgent Care, or on a scheduled basis at NMC’s outpatient lab. For more information on testing sites other than NMC, please visit https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/testing/where-get-tested

 

In-person medical appointments

  • We are now contacting patients who had appointments delayed because of COVID-19. We will be rescheduling those appointments in phases, please be patient as we rebuild our new schedules. 
  • We are currently scheduling fewer in person appointments each day than we normally would. Greater spacing allows us the time to clean and disinfect between patients.
  • Our patient access team will give you all the information you need when your appointment is rescheduled, giving you the chance to ask any questions or raise your concerns.
  • We will reach out to you the day before your in-person appointment. During this phone call, you will be asked a series of COVID-19 screening questions. 
  • If you screen as “negative,” in other words not having COVID-19 symptoms, you are ready for your appointment. On the day of your appointment, you will be screened again to make sure nothing has changed.
  • If you answer yes and screen positive for COVID-19 symptoms, your provider will determine if an in-person visit is necessary.
  • If so, your provider will work with you on when and how your visit can happen safely.
  • It is important that you are straight-forward regarding your symptoms.
  • If new symptoms arise after the initial screening, please call the office before coming in.
  • Please wear a cloth face covering when you come in for your appointment. If you do not have one, ask about where to get one during your scheduling phone call. 
  • Arrive alone to your appointment, unless special assistance is needed. For pediatric and prenatal patients, only one accompanying support person is allowed. 
  • Upon arrival, you (and your support person, if applicable) will be asked the COVID-19 screening questions again to ensure nothing has changed.
  • You will have your temperature taken. 
  • If the questions or your temperature are concerning, you will meet with a clinical staff member to determine how to proceed. 
 

Surgeries & other procedures

  • NMC’s surgeons will be prioritizing individual cases to appropriately move through the backlog of elective surgeries and procedures. This will be done systematically based on criteria that include the patient’s health risks, relative medical necessity, the timing of the original appointment, and related factors. At this time, only certain outpatient and inpatient surgeries and procedures are being restarted based on the guidance provided by the state.
  • You will receive a phone call to reschedule your procedure or surgery.
  • You will need to have a pre-op COVID-19 test and NMC will let you know when that COVID test is scheduled to happen.
  • To get your COVID-19 test, you will come to NMC’s Curbside Testing Center, located at Valley Crossroads on Fisher Pond Road at the intersection with Fairfield Street in St. Albans. Signage will direct how to get to the testing zone. Your nasal swab will be conducted while you are in your vehicle.
  • After your test, you will quarantine at home to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 after testing. Find out more about home quarantine here.
  • You will then get a call from your surgeon’s office with your test results. If the tests are negative, you’ll move ahead with your surgery.
  • NMC will call you once again to confirm your COVID test is complete (and negative), and ask questions to prepare for your procedure.
  • Use the Medical Office Building entrance at the front of our campus. Parking is available directly in front of the building. 
  • When you enter, you will be asked a series of COVID-related screening questions.
  • Don’t forget your mask! You’ll need to wear a mask when in our building. 
  • Patients are allowed to have as many fully vaccinated visitors as can safely be accommodated by the care environment. IMPORTANT NOTE: Some clinics/locations have stricter limits on visitation in order to maintain social distancing and patient safety.
  • All visitors / support persons will continue to be screened and logged as they enter NMC.
  • All visitors / supporter persons are required to wear a mask/face covering.
  • Interpreters and members of the Clergy are part of the clinical care team and do not count as visitors or support people.
  • Visitation status is not limited by age, instead it is limited by vaccination status.
  • If the test positively indicates COVID-19, you will be referred to your primary care for follow-up. Your appointment, procedure or surgery will be rescheduled.
  • While COVID-19 testing is not perfect, and does result in small numbers of false positives, we will treat all positive results the same, and reschedule your appointment. We do this in the interest of safety of all.
 

Blood draws & outpatient lab services

  • The outpatient lab is open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 4:30 pm. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday. We strongly encourage patients to call in advance for an appointment.
  • The Outpatient Lab is located in the Medical Office Building. We relocated temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’re back home! 
  • NMC is committed to the safety of our patients and community. Based on the Vermont Department of Health and CDC guidelines, everyone entering the facility will be asked a series of questions to screen for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Appropriate social distancing will be maintained in all our waiting areas.
  • Patients are encouraged to bring their personal cloth or surgical mask and must wear a mask within the facility. If you do not have a mask, we will do our best to provide one for you.
  • We recommend you make an appointment in advance. Walk-ins may be possible, but may come with a significant wait.
We strongly encourage patients to preregister and reserve a time slot for lab work. Here’s how this process works:
  • To pre-register, call 802-524-1024 to speak with a scheduling representative.
  • Please arrive at the Medical Office Building approximately 10 minutes prior to your reserved time. Priority for laboratory services will be given to pre-registered patients, so those without appointments may experience a significant wait.
  • We strongly recommend patients schedule an appointment in advance for blood work. This assists with safe patient flow and makes for a more efficient visit, as we can prepare in advance for your arrival.
  • While walk-ins are accepted, please keep in mind that priority is given to pre-registered patients. This means pre-registered appointments are faster and more efficient. Those without appointments may experience a significant wait.
  • Because of the drop-in nature of healthcare services offered in the Medical Office Building, it is possible that we have larger-than-expected numbers waiting for service.
  • In the event that more patients arrive than can be screened or safely accommodated in waiting areas, you can either return at another time, or wait in your vehicle.
  • If you choose to wait outside, we will send you a text message when it is time to enter the building.
  • If you would like to wait, but cannot do so in your vehicle or cannot use a cell phone, we can accommodate that. Please ask for help at registration.