In consideration of local updates with respect to COVID-19, also known as the Novel Coronavirus 2019, VNH is committed to serving our patients in Vermont and New Hampshire and keeping you informed. Your safety is our priority, and we are continuing to ensure that patients can continue to receive safe and exceptional home health care. VNH is continuously monitoring the activity in Vermont and New Hampshire and responding accordingly to best meet the needs of patients and the community.
A message from Dr. Danielle Pierotti, Vice President of Patient Care Services:
VNH Patient Education Materials:
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 assembled the following resources to help you stay informed and protect yourself during this developing situation:
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.
Watch the CDC’s brief video for more handwashing tips for staying safe:
Stay home if you’re sick.
Limit movement in your community and stay home when you are sick. Download this flyer for more information about how staying home saves lives:
Cover coughs and sneezes.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people.
Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing methods are difficult to maintain.
The use of cloth face coverings can help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting to others. Download this flyer on how to safely wear and wash cloth face coverings:
Practice Social Distancing.
Remain at least 6 feet away from others. Download this flyer with more advice and information for social distancing:
Clean all surfaces in the home that are touched often.
Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
How You Can Help
Support VNH’s COVID-19 Response
Our teams are working around the clock to ensure that patients receive the care and support they need during this pandemic. Our priorities remain the same: keep our patients safe, keep our staff safe, and to provide needed services to our community.
Please consider donating today. Your support will enable us to expand our services to include visits that are not traditionally reimbursed in home health and hospice: telehealth and video visits, diabetic foot care, and medication and blood pressure monitoring. These visit allow us to care for our patients – wherever they call home – while lowering the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Blood donations needed
In our region, the American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations.
Special precautions are being taken to ensure the public can donate blood safely. There is no data or evidence that coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion.
If you are healthy and willing to donate, visit the American Red Cross website for more information.
Personal protective equipment donations
The White House announced a call-to-action for anyone who can donate any expendable personal protective equipment (PPE) to address the nationwide shortages that health care providers are facing. Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire echoes the urgent local need and requests donations of face masks.
Donations can be dropped off to the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire administrative office building located at 88 Prospect Street, White River Junction, VT. Drop-off items will be accepted 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
The below documentation details how to help sew or donate masks:
One way to supplement our ever-changing inventory of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is to join the national movement of volunteers who have started to sew masks. This generous outpouring is in response to the Center for Disease Control’s guidance that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted.
Below is our general guidance for those who wish to participate and help by sewing masks for donation.
Thank you for donating your time and talent to help VNH. We appreciate your generosity.
Before starting this project, please ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you been in contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Do you have fever, cough or shortness of breath?
If you are able to answer “NO” to both questions, then proceed with making masks.
If you answer “YES” to either or both questions, please do not make masks. If you are experiencing cough, fever, or shortness of breath and have a concern that you may have COVID-19 please call your primary care provider for a risk assessment.
- 100% unused cotton fabric (front) – no metallic fabrics
- 100% cotton or cotton flannel (back)
- 1/4″ or 3/8” flat elastic
For specific dimensions refer to the written instructions (PDF).
- Video instructions: Instructional video from Deaconess Health System.
- Written instructions: How to Make a Facemask (PDF)
If you cannot find elastics, follow these instructions to make fabric ties:
- If flat elastic is not available, fabric ties can be sewn on the mask, one tie on each of the four mask corners. Ties should be approximately 1/4” width, sewn so there are no frayed edges, and approximately 15” for each corner.
Fabric masks should be dropped off in re-sealable plastic bags.
Donations will be accepted:
- Monday through Friday: 7:00 am to 4:00 pm
Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire
88 Prospect Street
White River Junction, VT 05001
Please mail your masks via USPS, UPS, and FedEx to:
Visiting Nurse and Hospice for VT & NH
88 Prospect Street
White River Junction, VT 05001
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.
CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
If you’ve traveled internationally to any of the Level 3, 2, and 1 areas OR have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please follow these guidelines:
If you do not have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath
We request that you postpone any elective procedures or routine medical appointments for 14 days after return from travel.
If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath
If you are experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath and have concern that this might be COVID-19, please call your primary care provider for a risk assessment. If your provider establishes the need for COVID-19 testing, they will coordinate directly with your state department of health. If you do not have a primary care provider, please call the state at: NH: 603-271-4496, VT: 802-863-7240.
If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms similar to COVID-19, call your local hospital or health care provider to seek guidance. Do not visit your local hospital or health care provider without calling first.
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.
The National Institutes of Health announced a clinical trial at the University of Nebraska Medical Center that will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19 in adult patients.
There is no approved antiviral treatment available, although one is currently entering a Phase 1 safety trial.
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.
The CDC does not recommend that people who are healthy wear a mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a health care professional recommends it.
A mask should be worn by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of masks also is crucial for health care workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Local departments of public health and the CDC are responsible for publicly reporting COVID-19 cases.
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.