CVPH Updates Masking Guidelines

The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) is rolling back masking requirements for patients, visitors and employees.

Beginning Saturday, October 28, masking will be optional for all who enter CVPH facilities. However, hospital officials say anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory illness, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, loss of taste or smell, or diarrhea is asked to wear a mask. There may also be some instances where visitors will be required to don a mask when visiting a patient in isolation or if the patient is under protective measures. CVPH Infection Prevention and Control Manager Erica Moore, RN, BSN, CIC expresses her appreciation for everyone continuing to be responsible visitors.

“Reducing risk for our patients, people entering our facilities and our staff is critical so we can continue providing care. We are asking visitors to join us in that effort,” Moore says. “If you or your child are not feeling well before you plan to visit, please stay home. Take care of yourself, and we’ll be happy to welcome you when you are healthy again.”

Moore adds that there are other ways to connect with loved ones staying in the hospital. CVPH offers patients and families options like video visits to ensure they are able to connect with each other. Phone service and wifi are free.

According to Moore, the decision to end the masking requirement follows data showing decreasing levels of COVID-19 infection and transmission in the region and the end of an outbreak of the virus within the facility. However, she notes that CVPH is always monitoring the impact of respiratory viruses like flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and COVID-19 upon the community and staff. Protocols are also in place to determine if masking needs to be implemented temporarily in the future.

“COVID-19 is not going away, unfortunately,” Moore states. “And we always want to do what is right for our patients and our staff. Protecting them is always front and center. We know that masking is an easy and effective way to slow the spread of COVID and other respiratory viruses. So we are thankful that the public continues to be understanding and flexible should we need to increase the use of masking within our facilities again to protect those in our care and those who are providing care."