Some elective health care procedures to resume in Vermont

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Governor Phil Scott announced limited elective procedures would resume, which had previously been put on hold as Vermont’s health care system focused on preparing for COVID-19.

The Governor’s decision comes as the state’s modeling continues to show the spread of COVID-19 has slowed.

Health care providers who recommence these procedures have been provided guidance and must meet specific mitigation criteria to protect patients and clinicians from possible infection.

“Our testing and tracing program will allow us to work with our health care providers and hospitals to begin providing some procedures that were put on hold,” said Governor Scott. “While postponing these procedures was necessary to help protect our healthcare system, workers and patients during this pandemic, we know these procedures are important to Vermonters’ overall health.”

Under the Scott Administration’s guidance, health care providers can begin non-essential outpatient clinic visits, diagnostic imaging, and outpatient surgeries and procedures if the following steps are taken.

Outpatient clinic visits and diagnostic imaging can resume immediately if providers demonstrate they are adhering to physical distancing and relevant CDC guidelines regarding infection control and prevention to maintain a safe environment for patients and staff.

Providers may also begin to perform outpatient surgeries and procedures that have a minimal impact on inpatient hospital bed capacity and PPE levels, including those performed in the office or ambulatory surgical center.

Each provider will also have to develop and implement a plan for the periodic testing of healthcare workers including nurses, physicians, emergency medical personnel, medical and nursing students, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, hospital volunteers, administrative staff, or any other employee who may come in contact with a patient.

Each outpatient clinic will also be responsible to ensure that it has adequate supplies of PPE, through its own suppliers.

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