Visiting Hours & Policies

Central Vermont Medical Center recognizes the value of family and friends in the healing process. Learn about our visiting hours and policies.

CVMC Visitor/Welcoming Policy

Effective Date: March 22, 2022

We know how vital families and support people are to our patients while they are healing. As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change, we will need to adapt our policy to protect our patients, staff and community. We strongly encourage vaccination among all visitors entering our facilities in order to protect our vulnerable patient populations.

For All:

Everyone allowed to enter Network healthcare facilities:

  • Will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry. Those with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) will not be allowed to visit.
  • Is required to wear a surgical mask that covers the nose and mouth for the entire time they are in the building. 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 our facilities. A surgical mask will be provided to replace an unacceptable face covering. Visitors who are reminded multiple times to wear their mask will be asked to leave the facility.

Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to visit at this time, except as indicated in the sections below.

All visitors/support persons must be healthy unless they meet an exception indicated in one of the sections below.

One support person (not counted as a visitor) is allowed for patients with communication needs (i.e., persons who are deaf or who do not understand/speak English), or patients with a cognitive impairment or disability who require assistance to access care.

Only ADA service animals are permitted. All others animals, including previously approved therapy dogs/support animals, or service animals in training are not allowed at this time.

Inpatient/Acute Care and Emergency Department:

Inpatient Units

  • Two (2) support persons/visitors are permitted at a time on adult inpatient units during the following hours:
    • Weekdays: 5:30 am-8 pm 
    • Weekends: 5:30 am-6 pm 
  • One (1) support person may be permitted to remain overnight, depending on room occupancy, however masking is required 24/7, including while sleeping. 
  • Visitors may be permitted for COVID-positive patients and those under investigation for COVID-19 (PUI) on a case-by-case basis. The specifics will be determined by the unit in question and shall involve collaboration between the overseeing physician and the unit leadership (or designee).
    • Visitors must comply with the most current visitation policy.
    • Visitors will be given instructions for, and observed donning appropriate PPE based on the patient’s status, potentially including a non-fit-tested N95 mask, face shield, gown and gloves outside the patient room by the clinical staff. 
    • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit.
    • At the time of departure, visitors will remove PPE outside the room under supervision of the clinical staff.
    • Visitors will don a new surgical mask following doffing of the PPE and wear the mask while exiting the hospital. Following visitation, the visitor should follow standard guidance for social distancing, frequent hand hygiene, cough etiquette and self-monitoring for any symptoms of exposure.
    • Every effort will be made to facilitate remote visitation with loved ones until the patient is discharged or deemed no longer infectious by the Infection Prevention team.

End-of-Life Care

  • Visitation for patients, for whom death in the hospital is imminent, will be managed by their care team. 
  • In general, up to four (4) support persons will be welcomed at a time when a patient is nearing or at end of life, and permitted to remain at the bedside without restriction on hours, fully masked. If children 12 and older are visiting, each child will count as one (1) of the four (4) support people. 
  • Visitors may be permitted for COVID-positive patients and those under investigation for COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis. The specifics will be determined by the unit in question and shall involve collaboration between the overseeing physician and the unit leadership (or designee).
    • Visitors must comply with the most current visitation policy.
    • Visitors will be given instructions for, and observed donning appropriate PPE based on the patient’s status, potentially including a non-fit-tested N95 mask, face shield, gown and gloves outside the patient room by the clinical staff. 
    • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit.
    • At the time of departure, visitors will remove PPE outside the room under supervision of the clinical staff.
    • Visitors will don a new surgical mask following doffing of the PPE and wear the mask while exiting the hospital. Following visitation, the visitor should follow standard guidance for social distancing, frequent hand hygiene, cough etiquette and self-monitoring for any symptoms of exposure.

Labor and Delivery

  • Two (2) healthy adult support persons are allowed on the birthing unit, extending through the post-partum stay on the Women and Children’s Unit. 
  • One (1) support person may stay overnight.
  • If an infant is required to stay after the mother is discharged, visitation should follow the pediatric guideline.
  • Visitors for COVID-positive patients and those under investigation for COVID-19 will be granted visitation on a case-by-case basis and will follow the procedures under the End-of-Life Care section above.
  • A COVID-positive spouse/significant other will be allowed to visit and/or attend a birth by following the procedures under the End-of-Life Care section above. Families with a COVID-positive mother or spouse will be treated as COVID-positive for precautions, room placement and PPE for the duration of their stay or until precautions are lifted by the Infection Prevention team.

Inpatient Pediatrics

  • Two (2) parents/guardians are permitted.
  • One (1) parent/guardian may stay with a pediatric patient overnight.

Inpatient Psychiatry

  • One (1) healthy, adult, fully-vaccinated support person is permitted at a time to visit during the following hours:
    • Weekdays: 2:30-4 pm and 6-8 pm 
    • Weekends: 2:30-4 pm 
  • Due to the open environment on this unit, support persons must be fully vaccinated, defined as being at least 14 days out from a single-dose vaccination (e.g., Johnson & Johnson) or at least 14 days out from the second shot of a two-dose vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna). 
  • Visitors will be asked to call ahead to plan a visit due to the limited space on the unit in order to maintain social distancing. 
  • On a case-by-case basis, the treatment team will consider allowing an additional provider to visit, such as a case worker, therapist or spiritual support person.

Emergency Department

  • Two (2) support persons at a time are welcome at the bedside, unless the patient is COVID-positive or under investigation for COVID-19 (PUI). 
  • Two (2) caregivers/support persons at a time are welcome with pediatric patients. 
  • Washington County Mental Health Screeners are not considered a visitor or support person. They are part of the care team and will be allowed to see patients in the ED.
  • On a case-by-case basis, the treatment team will consider allowing an additional provider to visit, such as a case worker, therapist or spiritual support person.
  • The care team will make determinations for patients in end-of-life care. 
  • One (1) support person is allowed for patients with communication needs (i.e., persons who are deaf or who do not understand/speak English) or patients with a cognitive impairment or disability who require assistance to access care.

Process for exceptions to Inpatient/Acute Care and Emergency Department policies:

  • Exceptions to this policy will be made to the ANC on duty who may access additional resources to determine if the exception can be made. The ANC will be the final arbiter of any exception request.
  • Support persons allowed to visit are strongly encouraged to remain in the patient room during the duration of their visit and limit traffic in hallways, cafeterias and lobbies before, after or between visits.
  • Family members/support persons are permitted to leave and re-enter, but must be re-screened upon each entry. Family members are strongly encouraged to limit repeated exit and return.

Surgical/Procedural Areas:

  • One (1) support person is permitted to accompany an adult patient. 
  • As appropriate, the support person may be present at the bedside in both the Pre-op and PACU settings.
  • One (1) support person may accompany patients in the Infusion Room.
  • Two (2) caregivers/support persons at a time may accompany a pediatric patient.

Outpatient Clinics:

  • One (1) support person over the age of 12 may accompany patients to an outpatient clinic.
  • In the OB/GYN clinic, infants are allowed to attend postpartum visits with their mother. 
  • Two (2) caregivers/support persons may accompany pediatric patients to outpatient clinic appointments. 
  • Siblings may be permitted to attend an outpatient appointment when alternate care arrangements cannot be made. Parents are asked to assure siblings are symptom-free, remain in room and remain masked.
  • Any outpatient clinics within the hospital building, including OB/GYN and Family Medicine - Main Campus would follow the Inpatient/Acute Care guidance allowing for one (1) support person.

General Notes:

  • Across all settings, interpreters are not considered support persons. The UVM Health Network provides professional interpreting service by hospital-contracted interpreters, who are members of the care team. Support persons should not be asked to interpret.
  • All family members and support persons will be asked to clean their hands upon entry and exit from any unit, patient room or clinic, and upon entry and exit from the building. 
  • Visitors who are actively eating and drinking in cafeteria areas may remove masks, but are encouraged to keep time spent without a mask on to a minimum.
  • Security will be called to respond to any family members/visitors who present significant safety concerns, including unwillingness to mask or refusing to leave when asked on the basis of these concerns.
  • Visitation rules apply equally to employees who wish to visit friends or family regardless of whether they are on or off duty.