Important Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 6, 2020   –  At Springfield Medical Care Systems, we are dedicated to providing high quality health care to all our patients.  As concerns grow for the potential development of cases of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our area, we want to assure you that we are focused on the health and safety of our patients and staff.

A task force has been meeting regularly to develop preparedness plans consistent with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control under the guidance of the Departments of Health of Vermont and New Hampshire.  Key members of the task force are on call 24/7 to help address any real-time concerns that arise at either Springfield Hospital or any of our outpatient offices.

At this point there are no confirmed cases in Vermont and the virus is not spreading widely in the United States.  In an effort to keep it that way, we ask for your help.

WHAT CAN YOU DO:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then properly dispose of the tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces with a household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • The CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms and those caring for someone with the disease.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • 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.
  • If you have returned from travel to Italy, Iran, South Korea, China or Japan in the past two weeks please call the Department of Health for your state of residence.
    • Vermont Department of Health 802-863-7240 (24/7)
    • New Hampshire Department of Health 603-271-4496 (business day)
      603-271-5300 (after hours)
  • Call your primary care provider if you develop fever, cough or shortness of breath and have either recently traveled from an area with ongoing community spread of COVID-19 (China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea) or you have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We will help you work with either the VT or NH Department of Health to determine an appropriate testing, monitoring and/or treatment plan. 
  • Please do not present to the Emergency Room, Walk-in or Primary Care without calling ahead so as to limit the risk of possible transmission to other vulnerable patients, or to our vital health care workers!   

Most often, mildly ill COVID-19 patients can be managed at home.

If you visit any of our health centers or Springfield Hospital, you will be asked about travel, cough, fever and/or contact with anyone who may increase your infection risk.

  • NEW ADVISORY: Following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, returning travelers whose last day in China, Italy, South Korea or Iran was March 4 or afterwards should stay home and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the United States. Travelers returning from Japan should monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the United States. All travelers who have returned from those countries in the last 14 days should call the Health Department at 802-863-7240 (VT) or 603-271-4496 (business day) 603-271-5300 (after hours) (NH) to discuss monitoring.  If you develop symptoms of shortness of breath, cough or fever, contact your health care provider right away.

We are here for you and appreciate you being there for us! 

Respectfully,

Katrina Taylor, DO                                         Robert Cantu, MD
Chief Medical Officer                                           Medical Staff President

Joshua R. Dufresne, MBA                          Michael J. Halstead, MBA
Acting Chief Executive Officer                          Interim Chief Executive Officer
Springfield Medical Care Systems                    Springfield Hospital