We are happy to report that VNH is COVID-19 prepared and fully operational, caring for all patients that require in home care.

As you consider home health care, we want you to know that your health and safety remains our highest priority. Experience the highest quality of care in the comfort and safety of your home.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Call VNH at 1-888-300-8853.

A message from Dr. Danielle Pierotti, Vice President of Patient Care Services:

As members of your local community, we are deeply rooted in Vermont and New Hampshire and strive to act in the best interests of patient, employee, and community safety by complying with Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, following federal and state guidelines, and taking precautions as necessary.

We have also expanded our use of phone and video appointments. Most insurance plans do cover phone and video visits at this time.

We have assembled the following resources to help you stay informed:

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health is working closely with New Hampshire and Vermont public health officials to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available. Priority for the distribution has been determined by the two states, in alignment with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We understand priority will be given to high-risk health workers, first responders and older adults living in residential care settings. As we learn more about the availability of the vaccine for health care providers and for the public, we will continue to update our information. To learn more, please visit the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services or Vermont Department of Health websites.

How to Stay Safe

Protect yourself and your family by following these general precautions:

Wash your hands frequently.

Scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Practice social distancing & avoid close contact.

  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
    • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
      Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
    • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Monitor your health daily and stay home if you’re sick.

Limit movement in your community and stay home when you are sick.

  • Be alert for symptoms of COVID-19. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Clean and disinfect all surfaces in the home that are touched often.

Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit.

How You Can Help

VNH COVID-19 Relief Fund
 

Support to the VNH COVID-19 fund will enable an expansion of services. Traditionally telehealth and video visits, diabetic foot service, medication and blood pressure monitoring are not reimbursed in home health and hospice. Expanding services to include these needs allows VNH to care for patients in their homes, while lowering the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 (caused by the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV) is the virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, which is spreading worldwide.

At this time, it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. The latest situation summary updates are available on the CDC’s web page Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Current understanding about the transmission, severity of illness, and other features of the virus is based on continued investigation by the CDC. The virus is mainly thought to spread from person-to-person.

Please reference the CDC website for the most up-to-date information about the spread of the virus.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

            • Fever or chills
            • Cough
            • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
            • Fatigue
            • Muscle or body aches
            • Headache
            • New loss of taste or smell
            • Sore throat
            • Congestion or runny nose
            • Nausea or vomiting
            • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update this list as they learn more about COVID-19.

Please review the CDC website for additional information.

CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.

            • Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19
            • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
            • Masks should be worn by people two years and older
            • Masks should NOT be worn by children younger than two, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance
            • Do NOT wear masks intended for healthcare workers, for example, N95 respirators
            • CDC does not recommend the use of face shields alone. Evaluation of face shields is ongoing but effectiveness is unknown at this time.
            • Evaluation of mask and gaiter materials and structure is ongoing.

The basic approach to prevent disease transmission is to:

              • Identify patients who show symptoms.
              • Isolate those patients from others for assessment.
              • Inform appropriate staff and authorities for further response.

If people appear with symptoms, they will be asked to wear a mask and answer a series of questions about their health and travel. Based on their answers and vital signs, they may be isolated from other patients while COVID-19 test results can be verified.

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 are isolated and treated.

VNH is prepared to care for patients with COVID-19, as well as patients who are suspected of having the virus. We are actively screening patients prior to every visit, keeping patient and staff safety our first priority.

              • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
              • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
              • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Maybe; not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first. Most people will have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care and may not need to be tested.

CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments and healthcare providers.

You can also visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.

Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. CDC has directions for people who are recovering at home and their caregivers, including:

                • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
                • Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
                • ash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
                • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
                • Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
                • Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.

However, some people may need emergency medical attention. Watch for symptoms and learn when to seek emergency medical attention.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention:

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately

                • Trouble breathing
                • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
                • New confusion
                • Inability to wake or stay awake
                • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Local departments of public health and the CDC are responsible for publicly reporting COVID-19 cases.

View current information for Vermont at the VT Department of Health website.

D-HH is committed to the privacy of its patients and complies with all applicable laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

D-HH does not share patient-specific information with the media without prior authorization. D-HH collaborates with public health authorities, including the CDC and local public health authorities, as appropriate. These authorities are best positioned to provide public health information.

For other Frequently Asked Questions, visit the CDC website.