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Number of Support Persons for Emergency Department Patients Temporarily Restricted

COVID testing moves to by-appointment only

Middlebury, Vt. – The University of Vermont Health Network – Porter Medical Center today announced updates to its visitor policy and scheduling for COVID testing. The decision to temporarily reduce visitation to its emergency department and move to by-appointment only testing was made in view of the continued spread of the virus in Addison County.

The visitor policy change allows for patients in the emergency department to have one support person. Patients in the inpatient unit, birthing center, and surgery center may have up to two support persons. All support persons are screened for a fever and COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry. Those with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), regardless of vaccination status, will not be allowed to visit. Patients with lab-confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are not permitted support persons.

Under the updated policy, special considerations for support persons with pediatric patients, end of life care patients, and patients with an intellectual, developmental, or cognitive disability will be made. The temporary change to emergency department visitation will be reassessed in the coming weeks.

Testing for COVID-19 will be offered by-appointment only at the COVID Resource Center on the medical center’s main campus Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to noon and 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Walk-ins will be asked to schedule an appointment or directed to free testing sites through the Vermont Department of Health website.