SMCS and Springfield Hospital Services Update

VT Residents 70+ Can Schedule COVID-19 Vaccinations Beginning Tuesday, Feb 16th.

Starting Tuesday, February 16th, VT residents 70 years and older can make appointments for their COVID-19 vaccination. There are enough appointments for everyone who is eligible. Appointments are required. Clinics cannot accept walk-ins.

To make an appointment online with the Health Department:
1. Create an account (link is external) (anyone can do this anytime!)
You may already have an account if you were tested for COVID-19 at a Health Department site.
2. Make an appointment (link is external) when your age group is eligible to get the vaccine. If you can’t make an appointment online or need help with an online appointment, you may contact the call center at 855-722-7878. Call Center Hours:
Monday – Friday, 8:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Local assistance with scheduling an appointment is also available by calling:
•  Valley Health Connections, Springfield, VT   802-885-1616
•  Neighborhood Connections, Londonderry, VT   802-824-4343

Springfield Hospital is hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics in three local locations.
•  Springfield Adult Day Center, Springfield, VT
•  Walker Farm, Weston, VT
•  
Rockingham Senior Center, Bellows Falls, VT

Scheduling an appointment at these locations must be done by making an online appointment. Walk-ins cannot be accepted.

CHECK YOUR SCHEDULED LOCATION:  Springfield Hospital is holding vaccination clinics on the hospital campus for Group 1a health care workers and early responders only. When you register online, please check your assigned clinic location to be sure you report to the appropriate location at your scheduled time.

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic On Schedule for Friday, January 29th

The Friday, January 29th COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for Priority Group 1A will be held as planned at Springfield Hospital. We have a new supply of vaccine arriving for this clinic.  All participants who were previously scheduled for Friday, January 29th, should report to Springfield Hospital as scheduled.   We are awaiting guidance related to the 860 doses being held pending investigation into the temperature monitor variation.   Anyone whose appointment was cancelled for Wednesday, January 27th will be rescheduled, and will be contacted as soon as further details are finalized.

1-25-21 Update from the State of Vermont

As we move on to vaccinating those 75 and older next week, the Vermont Department of Health recognizes that there are still some eligible members of 1A who have not yet been vaccinated. Given the reduced vaccine allocation to hospitals for this population, VDH asks that we temporarily pause with the 1A group clinic planning to allow time over the next few weeks to readjust allocation in order to make up the vaccines needed to continue vaccinating that group. VDH recognizes that hospitals are balancing vaccine use and priority populations while also striving to reduce any wastage and should continue to use their discretion to minimize vaccine wastage. VDH very much appreciates hospitals continued partnership in this important and challenging endeavor.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information:

At SMCS and SH we encourage all our patients to get the vaccine when it becomes available to you!

If you need help signing up for the vaccine when your age group or phase is eligible or need assistance getting to or from a vaccine appointment we will be happy to assist you or you are welcome to contact other local organizations who are available to help with this process, such as Valley Health Connections at 802-885-1616 or Neighborhood Connections at 802-824-4343.

In Vermont

Vermont will start scheduling vaccines for residents 75 years old and older on January 25, 2021.

To make an appointment by phone please call 855-722-7878 or go online to https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine.

You may sign up for an appointment to be vaccinated if you are at least 75 years old and a Vermont resident or you are not a Vermont resident but you have a primary care provider in Vermont, work in Vermont or you have moved to Vermont in the past six months with the intention of becoming a Vermont resident.

Information about the vaccine can be found at: https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID19-Vaccine-FAQ-Handout.pdf

Springfield Hospital

Registration is underway for COVID-19 vaccination for first priority groups (Phase 1A).  If you fit the definition of first priority group 1A, please download the  COVID-19 Vaccine Request form to register and email to customerrelations@springfieldmed.orgWe will only respond to those who qualify for Phase 1A vaccination at this time. 

Now: Healthcare personnel and residents of long term care facilities can be vaccinated.

Beginning January 25, 2021: People of Vermont who are 75 years or older can register for appointments.

In New Hampshire

New Hampshire will start scheduling vaccines for residents in the 1b phase on January 22, 2021.

You can get more information and follow the prompts by going to https://www.vaccines.nh.gov/

The 1b phase is defined as New Hampshire residents (must show proof of residence or property ownership in NH) 65 years old and older as well as individuals younger than 65 with two high risk medical conditions, family caregivers of those medically vulnerable persons who are under 16 years old and or not eligible for the vaccine; residents and staff of residential facilities for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities; corrections officers and staff working in correctional facilities and those in the 1a group who have not yet been vaccinated.

The following is the list of underlying medical conditions the NH is using to define highest risk

List of Underlying Medical Conditions (adapted from CDC):

Phase 1b: Two or more conditions

Phase 3a: One or more conditions

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and other high-risk pulmonary disease
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart Conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised states
  • Obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Note: DPHS allows a health care provider to vaccinate any patient assessed to have significant risk for severe illness due to co-morbidities, even if not listed here. This list does not include every condition that might increase one’s risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19, such as those for which evidence may be limited (e.g., rare conditions or combinations of conditions).

If you are a person with two of these high risk medical conditions the state of NH may reach out to you to schedule your vaccine.  They have requested the primary care practices attest that patients do fall in this category.  We have sent a list of patients to the state.  Given that some of the conditions are vague there may be some folks that do not make it on the list.  If you are not able to obtain an appointment and you feel you should be in the 1b phase because of 2 high risk medical conditions please call your primary care office to discuss.

Remember that you must keep your appointment for your first and second dose of vaccine.  The limiting step right now is the states getting access to the vaccine so we do not want any doses to go wasted!  As it stands it will likely take several weeks to vaccinate everyone in each phase/age-band.

Although severe allergic reactions (such as anaphylaxis) are very rare you may experience redness, soreness and swelling at the injection site, fever, headache, nausea and body aches after receiving the vaccine.  These side effects are even more common and may be more severe after the second dose so plan for this possibility.  Most symptoms subside within 48 hours.

After being vaccinated you will still be required to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and physically distance.  Although you will likely have protection from severe illness from COVID-19 you may still be able to be a carrier and spreader of the disease.  Once a large percentage of the population is vaccinated than we may see a return to what we think of as normalcy.

COVID-19 Testing Options for the Public:

  1. Asymptomatic at Springfield Health CenterState of Vermont COVID-19 Pop-Up Testing:
    Schedule appointment: https://vermont.force.com/events/s/selfregistration
  2. Symptomatic At Springfield Health CenterTesting through Springfield Medical Care Systems, Inc.:
    Please call 802-886-8902 to schedule an appointment for symptomatic testing.
    Physician Orders need to be faxed to 802-886-8947 prior to arriving for a test.
    Hours are Mon, Thurs, Fri 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM & Tues, Wed from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Testing may also be done while being seen at our Respiratory Clinics at Springfield Health Center, Rockingham Health Center, or Mountain Valley Health Center.
  3. Emergency Level of Care At Springfield Hospital: If you are experiencing an emergency due to COVID-19 or other condition, call 911.

COVID-19 Update for SMCS
January 8, 2021

Community spread of COVID-19 continues to affect our region.

The 3 most important things you can do to slow the spread of the virus are wear a mask properly over your nose and mouth when you are around others you do not live with, stay 6 feet away from others and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/need-to-know.html

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 discuss if you need to be:

  • tested and remain home (we are doing some testing at RHC, SHC & MVHC)
  • seen via telemedicine,
  • seen in one of our Respiratory Clinics (where we can also test you), or
  • in the case of severe symptoms seen in the ED

If you are asymptomatic but desire or need a test because of travel, exposure, participation in a gathering, return from college, etc. please schedule a test through the VT Department of Health https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/testing/where-get-tested#where at our CIC testing site at Springfield Health Center.  If you need help registering please call 2-1-1 for assistance.

Testing availability at SMCS:

All testing done is done using the PCR test.  When available we use anterior nasal swabs.  In some cases you may be observed and asked to do your own test if you are able.

CIC testing at Springfield Health Center:

  • Monday, Thursday and Friday from 9 am to 12 pm;
  • Tuesday and Wednesday from 12:30 pm to 4 pm;
  • Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm; and,
  • Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm.

Tests are run at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA and are communicated directly to the patient via e-mail or phone within 72 hours, depending on the volume of tests being run.  The results do not come to the clinic or your primary care provider.

Symptomatic Testing at Springfield Health Center:

  • Monday, Thursday and Friday from 12:30 pm to 4 pm; and,
  • Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 am to 12 pm.
  • Testing may also be done while a patient is being seen at one of our Respiratory Clinics at Springfield Health Center, Rockingham Health Center and Mountain Valley Health Center.

Tests are run at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center via Springfield Hospital Lab and results are sent to the ordering provider in 2-5 days.  If you have the Dartmouth Patient Portal you may see your results sooner.  Please call if you have not received your results in 5 days.

When should you be tested:

  • Any COVID -19 Symptoms – even mild

VT specific guidelines:

  • After a 7 day quarantine for any (non-essential) travel outside of VT
  • Before and after attending a gathering with more than one household and again on or after 7 days
  • Anyone exposed to COVID-19 positive person at workplace, in a household or at an attended event should test as soon as possible and again 7 days after exposure (quarantine until test resulted)
  • If you gather socially on a regular basis with people outside your household (which is not recommended) you should test weekly
  • College students returning home should quarantine and be tested on or after 7 days

NH specific Guidelines:

  • If you are in close contact with a COVID positive person quarantine and test on day 5-7
  • NH does not recommend “testing out” of quarantine.

When to Quarantine:

Quarantine means staying home and away from other people (this includes not going to the grocery store, work, school etc. and not having visitors in your home).  If you need to seek medical care, call ahead so you can receive the care you need in the most appropriate setting.

VT guidelines:

Quarantine is for:

  • people who were in close contact with someone sick with COVID-19 (day 1 of your quarantine starts the day after you were last in contact with them)
  • Vermonters who travel out of state (day 1 of your quarantine starts the day after you return to Vermont)
  • people with no symptoms who are visiting Vermont (day 1 of your quarantine starts the day after you arrive in Vermont)
  • people who have gathered with another household (day 1 of your quarantine starts the day after the gathering)

If you have not had symptoms of COVID-19, you have the option to get a PCR test on day 7 and end your quarantine with a negative test result.  If you choose not to test you can stop quarantine after 14 days.

NH guidelines:

Quarantine is for:

  • People identified as a close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • People who have traveled from anywhere outside New England

NH DPHS does not recommend “testing out” of quarantine.  As long as you don’t develop symptoms of COVID-19 during quarantine, you can stop quarantine after 10 days from the date of your last close contact to a person with COVID-19

When to Isolate:

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

The minimum isolation period for a person who tests positive is 10 days.  To end isolation the following must be met:

If you had symptoms, you can leave home and be with others after these three things have happened (unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider):

  • you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers AND
  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
  • at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

If you did not have any symptoms, you can leave home and be with others after:

  • 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test (unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider).

What to do if you have COVID-19?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/10Things.pdf

What to do if you are caring for someone with COVID-19:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html

What to do if you are a parent or caregiver who is COVID-19 positive:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/parents-caregivers.html