ST. ALBANS – The Northwestern Medical Center (NMC) announced Friday it would again be tightening restrictions on visitation in response to a growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
In an official statement, NMC said it would be reinstating its visitation policy from the initial height of the pandemic in April, with general visitation no longer allowed.
According to the St. Albans hospital, individual visitors will be allowed to accompany patients with specific support needs, such as expectant mothers, patients with cognitive disabilities, patients “at end of life” and during pediatric visits to the hospital.
“By reducing the number of people present in the hospital and other medical facilities, the risk for transmission is reduced and efforts to preserve access to necessary care are strengthened,” a statement from NMC read.
Renewed restrictions on visitations were effective immediately, the hospital said in its statement.
“We know family members and loved ones play a key role in supporting and comforting those who are sick and ill,” Dr. John Minadeo, NMC’s Chief Medical Quality Officer, said in a statement.
“However,” Minadeo continued, “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 staff, patients and visitors.”
On Friday, state officials announced a slew of new restrictions banning gatherings with multiple households, suspending sports not affiliated with schools and closing bars and clubs in a bid to control a rising number of new cases of COVID-19 in Vermont.
This week saw Vermont break its daily record of new COVID-19 cases twice, with the health department reporting 72 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 109 new cases on Thursday.
Vermont also recently reported its first death due to complications related to COVID-19 in months, bringing the state’s total number of COVID-19-related deaths to 59.
According to NMC’s statement, the hospital’s visitation policy requires individuals serving as support persons to be over the age of 18 and says visiting support persons must while remain with their respective patient while visiting the St. Albans hospital.
More information on NMC’s visitation policy is available online at https://www.northwesternmedicalcenter.org/patients-visitors/for-patients/open-and-safe/.
The hospital is asking those with specific questions to connect with NMC’s Patient Relations Team at (802) 524-8875.