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COVID-19 Policy Change: Copley Hospital Visitor Policy

Effective Date: November 20, 2020

Pursuant to Governor Scott’s Executive Order 01-20, Declaration of State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19 and National Guard Call-Out, the Agency of Human Services has revised the minimum standard for visitation policies and procedures for all hospitals throughout Vermont.

We know family members and loved ones play a key role in supporting and comforting those who are sick and ill. 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 patients and employees.

Policy Provisions:

 Entrances into all medical buildings and clinics will be restricted, and everyone who enters will be asked the purpose of their visit.

  • Support people accompanying a patient and all approved visitors will be screened at the main entrance. Those who have respiratory symptoms will not be permitted to enter and should follow-up with their own healthcare providers.
  • Only ADA service animals are permitted. All other animals, including previously approved therapy dogs/support animals, are not allowed at this time.
  • All visitors must be masked and maintain a face and nose covering for the entirety of their visit.
  • Any approved visitors will be asked to clean their hands upon entry/exit from the building, entry/exit from the unit or clinic, and entry/exit from patient rooms.
  • Employees may not visit patients either on or off-duty unless they are an approved exception visitor.
  • Exceptions to this policy may be made in extenuating circumstances.
  • Visitors are currently not able to visit the Copley cafeteria.

Inpatient /Acute Care and Emergency Department:

  • No visitors are allowed with some very limited exceptions.
  • The limited exceptions include:
    • One (1) support person for patients in The Birthing Center.
      • One (1) consistent support is strongly recommended.
      • When necessary, a second support can be identified as an alternate.
  • One (1) parent or (1) support person at a time for pediatric patients.
    • One (1) consistent support is strongly recommended.
    • When necessary, a second support can be identified as an alternate.
  • Patients in end of life care.
    • The care team will manage decisions around these exceptions.
  • One (1) consistent support person may be permitted in other rare circumstances, such as for a patient with a cognitive impairment or disability who requires assistance to access care.
  • The unit will determine whether those attempting to visit meet an exception criteria and ask whether they have a cough, shortness of breath, or a fever.
  • No visitors will be permitted with patients suspected of having COVID-19 or who test positive for COVID-19. We will make every effort to support patient and family interaction by deploying the use of technology.
  • Visitors are asked to remain in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit, limit traffic in hallways and avoid congregating in waiting rooms and lobby before, after, or between visits.

Outpatient Clinics, Laboratory, Diagnostic Imaging, Rehabilitation Services:

  • Visitors/family members are not permitted to accompany patients to outpatient visits unless the patient requires support and assistance to access their appointment.
    • Support people providing this level of assistance will be screened upon check-in at the clinic.
    • Those who have respiratory symptoms will not be permitted to enter the clinic and should follow-up with their own healthcare providers.
  • One (1) parent or support person should accompany pediatric patients.
  • One (1) designated support person will be allowed to accompany patients for 20-week ultrasound appointments. Additionally, one (1) designated support person may be allowed to accompany patients during additional prenatal ultrasound appointments on a case-by-case basis if the patient’s care team determines it is appropriate.
  • Patients who would benefit from other forms of support during a visit (such as a family member to listen, participate in the discussion, etc.) are encouraged to include support people via phone or other technology.
  • All surgical and procedural patients will be screened at entrance prior to entering the Surgery Center and will be given a procedure mask to wear while in the building. Patients cannot wear their personal masks.
  • If surgical or procedural patient did not follow self-isolation procedures patient will be cancelled and rescheduled for testing and procedure.
  • Patients will be directed to the Surgery Center waiting room where they will be registered by perioperative staff.
  • No visitors will be allowed to wait in the building for surgical / procedural patients, and a telephone number will be required for the surgeon and PACU RN to communicate with their responsible adult driver/caregiver.

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