Before the COVID-19 response to the pandemic, health care facilities used CDC guidance for things like the appropriate level of precaution to use for a patient with an infectious disease. Health care professionals should again follow current COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read the Guidance for Licensed Health Care Providers (June 15, 2021). (Vermont Department of Health)
CDC Guidance Highlights
- The guidance applies to all U.S. settings where health care is delivered.
- Recommendations are for symptomatic, asymptomatic, vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
- Patients and visitors should wear their own well-fitting cloth masks, face masks or respirators at the health care facility regardless of vaccination status. Facilities should be prepared to offer a mask for anyone who does not bring their own.
- Health Care Professionals should wear well-fitting source control while they are in the healthcare facility, including in breakrooms.
- Symptom screening helps identify people who could have COVID-19 so precautions can be taken. This may include limiting entrance points and assessing people for symptoms.
- Facilities that accept Medicare should follow CMS requirements.
- Masks are required on transportation and at transportation hubs, including medical transport.
Report all suspect cases immediately to the Vermont Department of Health Infectious Disease Epidemiology by calling 802-863-7240 (24/7).
If you suspect a patient has COVID-19:
- Give the patient a surgical mask.
- Notify facility infection control personnel immediately.
- Use standard precautions, contact precautions, airborne precautions, and use eye protection when entering the room.
- Evaluate the patient in a private room with the door closed, ideally in an airborne infection isolation room
COVID-19 PPE Resource Request Form - submit if you anticipate depletion of any COVID-19 specific resource stocks within the next 7 days. Completion of this COVID-19 resource request form assumes facility implementation and practice of Contingency Operations Personal Protective Equipment Conservation measures.
- Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity calls and webinars, CDC
- Clinical Questions about COVID-19: Questions and Answers (CDC)
- Information for Healthcare Professionals About Coronavirus (COVID-19) (CDC)
Remdesivir is available in limited supply in the state of Vermont. Working with the Vermont Department of Health, The University of Vermont Medical Center main pharmacy is facilitating distribution throughout the state. To obtain Remdesivir for your patient, please call the UVMMC main pharmacy at 802-847-2880 to talk with a pharmacist. Then fax a request form to 802-847-4832.
- Frequently Asked Questions (Vermont Department of Health)
- Handouts and posters (CDC)
- Resources for the public (Vermont Department of Health)
- Translated resources for the public (Vermont Department of Health)
- How to talk to your kids about coronavirus (PBS Kids)
- Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and COVID-19 (Vermont Department of Health)
- Resources for Families (American Academy of Pediatrics)
The Vermont Department of Health initiated a public health program intended to allow more rapid detection of clinical deterioration of COVID-19 cases through the use of pulse oximeters at home. Earlier detection of hypoxemia in people with COVID-19 could prompt earlier medical evaluation and, as indicated, supportive care such as the provision of supplemental oxygen. In turn, it is hoped that more rapid initiation of supportive care for people with COVID-19 will also result in better clinical outcomes, including decreased mortality.
People newly diagnosed with COVID-19 are contacted by the Health Department. They are interviewed and counseled to contact their primary care provider or the nearest emergency department if they develop dyspnea or if their oxygen saturation reading is less than 92%. They are offered a pulse oximeter to monitor their oxygen saturation levels.
Please anticipate being contacted by COVID-19 patients in your practice or health care system if they develop dyspnea and/or hypoxemia while self-monitoring at home.
COPING WITH Stress
An outbreak impacts the mental health of the helpers, as much and in some ways more than the public. Just as they might suggest to their patients, health care providers should take steps to take care of themselves, reduce stress and avoid burnout.
- Stay connected to others, giving and accepting support
- Take mini-breaks
- Keep up physical activity
- Maintain regular sleep patterns and healthy eating
- Limit excessive exposure to distressing media
- Practice stress management techniques such as mindfulness and deep breathing
- Connect to your sense of purpose
- Seek help from a professional if you experience symptoms of significant stress or impairing anxiety
Caring for yourself and others During COVID-19 (Webinar from Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare)
Coronavirus and Mental Health: Taking Care of Ourselves During Infectious Disease Outbreaks (American Psychiatric Association)
Guide to COVID-19 Mental Health Resources for Health Care Providers (Massachusetts General)
The Public Health Role of COVID-19 Serologic (Antibody) Assays in Vermont
In April, 2020, a working group of content experts from the fields of laboratory medicine, public health, infectious diseases, and ethics from the Vermont Department of Health, Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, and the University of Vermont Medical Center met to review the current data on the use of serologic testing in individuals and populations.
The Vermont Health Alert Network (VTHAN) is a targeted messaging system. Messages are sent to specific groups in our system. Examples of groups are long term care facilities, nurses, and veterinarians.
Most messages are also available on the Health Department's website.
Contacts are added based on profession and mainly consist of health care providers and emergency responders. Contact information is provided to the system through state licensing boards. If you are licensed with the Office of Professional Regulation, the Board of Medical Practice, or Vermont EMS, you are likely in the VTHAN system with the contact information used to register for that license.
Please make sure that firstname.lastname@example.org is on your list of safe senders and check that VTHAN alerts are not going to your spam, clutter or junk folder. If you have an Outlook account and use the “Focused” inbox feature, please check to see if VTHAN alerts are getting sorted into the “Other” inbox.
If you work for a health care or social service facility but are not a licensee it is likely that we message the facility directly, and expect that they are forwarding relevant messages to employees. Please check with your facility administrator.
If you would like to stop receiving health alerts and advisories, please send a request to email@example.com.