March 27, 2020
Dear Community Member,
In my continued effort to keep you up to date with BMH actions to deal with the effects and spread of COVID-19, please be aware of the following:
As I mentioned in my last message on Friday, March 20, the only entrances open to patients, visitors, and employees are the Main Entrance and the Emergency Department Entrance. The Main Entrance is open:
- Monday-Friday 6:30am-5:00pm
- Saturday, 6:30am-12:00noon
- Sunday closed
If you arrive at the hospital outside of those times please enter through the Emergency Department.
In order to safeguard all staff and patients, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital has now imposed mandatory health screening upon entry to the Hospital and Medical Group practices. Upon entering these locations you will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, which will include a temperature screen. We ask for your patience with this new process and be mindful of social distancing while waiting to be screened.
Mammography Screening and DEXA Scans: Both services have been postponed at this time.
In the event of a rapid increase of patients who require hospitalization, we have established an additional 11-bed unit. This area is separate from our ED and other inpatient areas (Medical-Surgical Floors and Birthing Center).
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
As I am sure you are aware, PPE supplies -face masks, gowns, gloves, etc. - are rapidly decreasing in many hospitals across the country. We continue to use all PPE responsibly and, at this time, feel we have adequate supply. We are grateful for the donations of masks from our community and continue to encourage these efforts.
If you would like to learn more about making masks or gowns,
Consolidation of Medical Group Practices: To provide additional support for hospitalized patients, we have consolidated our outpatient primary care practices from six to three. During this time, you may receive care from a clinician that is not your primary care provider. All of BMH’s Medical Group clinicians share an electronic record so the clinician caring for you will have access to your health records. When you call your primary care office to schedule an appointment, you will be routed to a temporary practice and given instruction as to the address of the practice where you will receive care.
Our BMH family would like to express our gratitude to our community for your support in ensuring the health of your family, friends, and neighbors by limiting the spread of COVID-19. The steps that you are undertaking today are critical to limiting the severity of the outbreak of this novel coronavirus and its effects on our community. Here are the main steps to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you:
- Limit your exposure to other people; this is called “social distancing”. The fewer people you come in contact with, the fewer people have the chance to spread the virus to you or contract the virus from you. Stay home whenever possible, do not attend social gatherings, and do your best to avoid public spaces.
- Practice good hygiene habits. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, avoid touching your face, wipe down commonly used surfaces and objects with antibacterial solution, and try to avoid touching other surfaces or people if you must go out in public. These days, a wave or a head nod is a much better way to greet someone than a handshake, hug, or high five.
- Monitor your health. Keeping track of your symptoms is important in understanding your risks. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough, and difficulty breathing. If you or a loved on develop these symptoms, call your primary care provider to discuss next steps. If you do not have a primary care provider, please call the BMH Centralized Scheduling Office at 802-251-8777.
Thank you for your continued support of our valuable staff. You should be proud of the great work they are doing to provide the best possible care to our community in this difficult time.