MALONE — The UVM Health Network-Alice Hyde Medical Center updated its visitation policy in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 during a new surge in Franklin County case numbers, Friday.
The health network is implementing temporary changes to its policy, in order to protect the health and well-being of patients, families, employees and the community, according to Alice Hyde Medical Center spokesman Phillip Rau.
Rau said Alice Hyde temporarily suspended all non-medical hospital visitations, Nov. 2, with limited exceptions — exceptions the updated policy makes minor changes to.
Rau said the changes will go into effect, Nov. 23.
Rau said many of the changes in the new policy have been being implemented by personal at the medical center as case numbers have gone up with the policy change formalizing these efforts.
“A lot of this has already been happening but was not formally spelled out,” Rau said.
The updated changes impact visitors, specific clinical situations and fetal ultrasounds, according to Rau.
The updated policy indicates commercial masks with outflow vents, gaiters, and bandanas are not permitted in the facility.
A mask will be provided if visitors or those seeking emergent medical care do not have an acceptable face covering, as was the case in the past policy.
The requirement to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth for the entire time one is in the facility also remains unchanged. 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 the facility, as was the case in the past policy.
According to the updated policy, one support person may be permitted to accompany a patient in anticipation of the following circumstances, new diagnosis of a terminal illness, patient’s lack of response to treatment, which shifts the conversation towards end-of-life planning, and a change in the course of treatment that could have significantly negative outcomes, including end of life, on a case-by-case basis.
Obstetrics patients are permitted to bring one support person to their ultrasound appointments, according to the updated policy.