MONTPELIER, VT- On Wednesday, Governor Phil Scott announced long term care facilities and nursing homes will be allowed up to two visitors per day per resident.
These visits must take place outside. The governor and his administration are hoping to get this in place by Friday in time for Father’s Day. If not, the order will be in place on Monday.
“Protecting our seniors, our parents, grandparents, and neighbors has been a high priority from the start,” said Governor Scott.
Scott and his administration say allowing up to two guests at long term care facilities will help older Vermonters in more ways than one.
“It is no doubt that this population remains at risk for the most harmful effects of this virus, but we also know there are impacts to physical and mental health that come with a lack of connection from family and others,” said Scott.
Secretary of the Agency of Human Services Mike Smith explained the details of the new guidance. He said facilities must keep a contact log of all visitors. Visitors will need to follow public health guidelines including maintain social distance, wearing masks, and all visitors will need to be screened prior to their visit. The visitation policy will come in phases and it will be up to each individual facility to decide if they want to adapt these recommendations.
“Movement through the phases will require facility readiness, ability to adhere to strict standards, appropriate staffing, and access to adequate personal protection equipment,” said Smith.
Residents can visit each other outside, but group gatherings and indoor group dining is still not allowed at this time.
Also announced on Wednesday was new hospital visitation guidance.
For in inpatient acute care, emergency departments, and express/ urgent care, only one visitor at a time is permitted. Two visitors may be allowed for pediatric patients, if a patient needs an additional person specific to their health needs, or for end of life patients.