COVID-19 Information

Updated January 10, 2022

At Springfield Medical Care Systems, we want to make sure you are getting the care you need. We have measures in place to ensure your safety when you come in to one of our clinics and we encourage you to keep or make medical, behavioral health, dental and vision appointments for your preventive and follow-up care.  We also offer telemedicine options when appropriate for patients who are unable to come in or uncomfortable with an in-person visit. Our walk-in clinics are available to see you for your sudden illnesses and injuries.

Masks are required in all SMCS health centers and facilities for everyone over the age of 2, including patients, visitors, and staff.

Need Help? Dial 211 to connect with social services, mental health care, and other resources in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Symptoms of COVID-19 and When to Seek Care

The symptoms of COVID-19 may include 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 and/or diarrhea.

If you have any symptoms of COVID -19 we encourage you to call your primary care office to determine whether you need to be:

  • tested and remain home
  • seen via telemedicine,
  • seen in one of our clinics (where we can also test you), or
  • in the case of severe symptoms seen in the Emergency Department

When to seek emergency care:

Call 911 and seek emergency care if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or lethargy
  • Bluish lips or face

When to get tested:

  • If you experience any COVID -19 symptoms, even if they are mild.
  • When required to end quarantine, or to travel.
  • If you have been in close contact (greater than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period at less than six feet apart) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, please see the guidance below:

When to quarantine and isolate:

Quarantine means staying home and away from other people (this includes not going to the grocery store, work, school, etc. – unless part of a test to stay program – and not having visitors in your home). If you need to seek medical care, call ahead to inform them you are in quarantine so you can receive the care you need in the most appropriate setting.

Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means you stay home and avoid contact with other household members.  If possible, you should isolate in a separate room and use a separate bathroom (if not possible – disinfect all touched surfaces after each use).

If you have COVID, it is best to refrain from vigorous exercise for 14 days after you are diagnosed (if you have no symptoms), or 14 days after your symptoms have resolved.

COVID-19 variants

For up-to-date information about COVID-19 variants, please visit the CDC’s What You Need to Know About Variants.

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing in Vermont

COVID-19 testing in New Hampshire

COVID testing with symptoms: call your primary care provider to have a test ordered or call 802-886-8902.

Testing at SMCS health centers

All testing done at SMCS health centers is done via the PCR test, using anterior nasal swabs.  In some cases, a person may be observed and instructed to do their own test if they are able.

Asymptomatic Testing at Springfield Health Center through the Vermont Department of Health

  • Schedule the test appointment through the State of Vermont’s COVID-19 Event Portal.
  • Tests are sent to the State of Vermont COVID-19 CIC Testing Lab, and tests are run at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA. Results are communicated directly to the patient via email or phone within 72 hours, depending on the volume of tests being run. The results do not come to the health center or your primary care provider.
  • For help or technical assistance, call the Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center at 802-863-7240.

Symptomatic Testing at Springfield Health Center

  • Please call your primary care provider’s office to schedule an appointment and testing. If you have a testing order from outside SMCS, please call 802-886-8902 to schedule an appointment for symptomatic testing. Provider orders must be faxed to 802-886-8947 prior to arriving for a test.
  • Tests are sent to Springfield Hospital/ Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) Lab. Results are received by the ordering provider within 72 hours. Please call if you have not received your results in five days.
  • Testing may also be done while being seen at one of the SMCS health centers.

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19

Resources from the CDC:

If you are a Vermont resident, you can also get a pulse oximeter from the Vermont Health Department. This small device clips onto your fingertip and measures your pulse and oxygen levels and can help you know how sick you are. Call 802-863-7240 for more information.

When to call your primary care provider about a positive COVID test

If you test positive and have no symptoms or mild symptoms and no high risk medical conditions, you do not need to call to let us know.  Due to the high number of cases we are experiencing a high volume of phone calls and want to make sure we are available for those who are sick!  Please follow the guidance from the VT and NH departments of health.

If you are sick and need medical care such as having shortness of breath, high fevers, worsening cough, low oxygen levels, dizziness, chest pain, persistent nausea and vomiting or diarrhea, etc. we want to hear from you!

If you are immunocompromised, are over the age of 75, are over the age of 65 and have a high-risk medical condition or younger with multiple high risk medical conditions and have mild to moderate symptoms, reach out to your primary care provider to ask about anti-viral and monoclonal antibody treatment as soon as you get your COVID-19 positive test result. This treatment works best in the first five days and can reduce the chance of being hospitalized. Your provider will determine whether you are a candidate and make a referral.  At this time the supply of these medications is quite limited so even if you are an appropriate candidate treatment is not yet guaranteed.

COVID-19 Vaccines

SMCS encourages all patients to get the vaccine!

If you need help registering for the vaccine or assistance getting to or from a vaccine appointment, Springfield Medical Care Systems can help. You can also contact other local organizations for help, including Valley Health Connections at 802-885-1616 or Neighborhood Connections at 802-824-4343.

Vaccine availability at SMCS Health Centers:

  • Walk-in Moderna vaccinations for adults 18 and older are available at Springfield Health Center on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • The Moderna vaccine is currently available at all Springfield Medical Care Systems Health Centers, by appointment.
  • The Pfizer vaccine is currently available for children 5-11 and 12 and older at Springfield Health Center Pediatrics.

Please visit Springfield Medical Care Systems on Facebook for updates about vaccine availability and clinics.

Vaccine eligibility in Vermont

In Vermont, everyone 5 and older (regardless of residency) is now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccine. To register, go to COVID-19 vaccine in Vermont or call 855-722-7878.

Vaccine eligibility in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, everyone 5 and older (regardless of residency) is now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccine. For information about state-sponsored and pharmacy vaccination sites, including a map of locations providing the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11, visit COVID-19 vaccine in New Hampshire.

Vaccine information for specific populations in Vermont:

Children 5-17

The Pfizer vaccine is the only one authorized for use for children and adolescents.

For additional information, please visit COVID-19 vaccines for children in Vermont.

Homebound Vermonters

homebound Vermonters who have not had a vaccine can call 833-722-0860 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to find out if they are eligible to have the vaccine given to them in their home.

Vermonters who are English language learners and people in immigrant/refugee communities

There are community-specific clinics for people who are English language learners or immigrant/refugee community members. If you are age 16 or older, you can register for one of these clinics. Please call the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV) at 802-985-3106 or the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants of Vermont (USCRI VT) at 802-655-1963 to register. You can also make an appointment for yourself only by calling 855-722-7878 (press 1 if you need interpretation services).

For additional information, please see the Vermont Health Department handout, Things You Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines.

Slowing the Spread of the COVID-19 Virus

The most important things you can do to slow the spread of the virus are:

  • Get vaccinated and get a booster.
  • Myths and Facts About Covid-19
  • Wear a mask properly over your nose and mouth when you are around people you do not live with and at home when you have symptoms or have been exposed.
  • Stay six feet away from others.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Visit the CDC’s How to Protect Yourself and Others for comprehensive information about slowing the spread of COVID-19.