Information About COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dartmouth-Hitchcock COVID-19 information hotline

(603) 650-1818

Welcome to Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center’s dedicated resource center for our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Look here for the latest information and ongoing updates on our COVID-19 policies and protocols.

Hospital updates: MAHHC and OHC are open and safe

Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center and Ottauquechee Health Center are here to help you right now. In accordance with our Governor’s executive orders regarding health care facilities, we have resumed care and procedures that were slowed or postponed due to COVID-19.

We're here, we're open, and we're ready. While we did temporarily suspend some appointments and delay some elective procedures in order to get ready for the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to serve our communities with urgent and emergency care. Now that the initial peak of the pandemic has passed, and our region has effectively “flattened the curve” of the virus, we’re able to offer routine primary care exams, ophthalmology visits, and to reschedule surgeries and therapy appointments. At the same time, we will continue to offer the use of video consultations and telehealth as appropriate, via our myMAHHC portal, as a convenience to you.

Here's how we’re working to keep you safe: Over the past few months, we’ve been getting ready for the return of routine services. We’ve created new rules for our facilities designed to put your mind at ease so that you can get the care you need.

  • All visitors to our campuses are thoroughly screened before entry. You must wear a mask for your entire visit when you are in the hospital. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you. Your temperature will be taken. We'll ask if you have any COVID-19 symptoms and about your recent travel history.
  • Patients may be directed to a separate clinic on the Windsor campus for further evaluation and COVID-19 testing if indicated.
  • Our waiting rooms and common areas have been reconfigured to ensure at least six feet of social distance for each person.
  • On occasion, people may be asked to wait in their cars until they are called for their appointment.
  • We have revised our scheduling to keep the number of people in our waiting rooms lower than usual for now.
  • Our spaces and all surfaces are cleaned constantly to ensure that every area is as clean as possible.

We know that this time has been difficult for everyone—it’s been challenging logistically, physically, and emotionally. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have developed and implemented these new protocols to help ensure your safety.

Miller Therapeutic Pool

The pool is now open for therapy only. It remains closed to the community for general use until further notice.

Our visitor policy

All Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health facilities have some visitor restrictions.

All visitors are required to be masked and maintain a face and nose covering for the entirety of the visit. If you need a mask, please ask and one will be provided to you.

  • Please stay in the patient’s room for the duration of your visit and do not congregate in waiting rooms, cafeterias or lobbies before, after or between visits.
  • All approved visitors are required to clean their hands upon entry/exit from the building, entry/exit from the unit or clinic and entry/exit from patient rooms.

For Patients in Inpatient/Acute Care and Emergency Department and Express/Urgent Care

One visitor per day is permitted except:

  • Two parents, or one parent and one visitor for pediatric patients.
  • One additional and consistent support person may be permitted in circumstances such as for a patient who requires assistance to access care or assistance in providing detailed medical history.
  • Visitation for patients in end of life care will be managed by their care team. One support person will be welcomed when a patient transitions to comfort measures. No more than two family members at one time may be permitted in the patient room at the end of life.
  • For dual occupancy rooms, visitor presence will be dependent on the space available and the needs and preference of both patients.

For Patients in Outpatient Clinics

No visitors are permitted except:

  • Visitors/family members are permitted to accompany patients to outpatient visits if the patient requires support and assistance to access their appointment. Support people providing this level of assistance by accompanying a patient will be screened upon check-in at the clinic.
  • One additional and consistent support person may be permitted in circumstances such as for a patient who requires assistance to access care or assistance in providing detailed medical history.
  • Visitors or support people who have respiratory symptoms will not be permitted to enter the facility and should follow-up with their own healthcare providers.
  • Two parents, or one parent and one visitor may accompany pediatric patients.
  • For patients who would benefit from other forms of support during a visit (such as a family member to listen, participate in the discussion, etc.), every effort will be made to support our patients and their families by use of technology.

If you are unable to enter for your visit today we have alternative visit options; please ask our staff to contact the nurse's station for the unit you wish to visit for further information. 

How to access the Hospital

When you arrive at our facility, for any appointment, you will be asked several questions by the screening personnel at the entrance and your temperature will be taken. Please answer their questions truthfully. You must wear a mask, and wear it for the entirety of your visit for everyone’s protection. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you.

In an attempt to minimize exposure, you may be directed to a site that is not the regular clinic and you may see a provider that is not your primary care provider.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

We ask for patience and understanding during these times. We are navigating changing technology, regulations, guidelines, and policies every day.

How you can help

Donations of PPE

We are currently accepting donations of expendable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer, and gently used scrubs. The gear is intended to supplement Hospital PPE supplies as the COVID-19 outbreak gains momentum. Donations of these types may be dropped off at the Outpatient Therapies/Miller Pool entrance (just past and around to the right of the main entrance--see signage) at Mt. Ascutney Hospital. The hours of operation are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please deliver all loose or unpackaged items in re-sealable bags.

Sewing masks project

We invite people who are healthy, without signs of fever, coughing, or shortness of breath, and who have not been in contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days, to supplement the inventory of PPE by sewing masks for donation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted.

Volunteer mask makers are asked to use 100% unused, non-metallic cotton fabric for the front, and 100% cotton or cotton flannel for the back, along with ¼” or 3/8” flat elastics. Instructions for the preferred mask type may be found on the Instructables Craft website.

Donations to Employee HOPE Fund

The MAHHC HOPE Fund assists Mt. Ascutney Hospital employees who are experiencing hardships or financial emergencies. The Fund is supported solely by donations and was initially started up by MAHHC employee donations to support their colleagues. The HOPE Fund is dependent upon continued community support to sustain this fund to help our healthcare workers. Donate now to the HOPE Fund.

COVID-19 information

Prevention

  • Stay close to home as much as possible. Follow State guidelines for mandatory or recommended activities and travel restrictions. 
  • Socially distance. Keep at least six feet between you and others when in public, and wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer. Watch this Centers for Disease Control video for handwashing tips.
  • Don't touch your face. The coronavirus can enter through your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • While following the above rules, you can and should go outside for sunshine, fresh air, and exercise.

If you have symptoms

Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, can cause death. Because this virus is new to humans, no one is immune. Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of developing more serious complications.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after infection. You may be contagious before symptoms appear.

Common symptoms can include:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

Less common symptoms can include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Sore throat

If you develop any of these emergency warning signs, seek help right away.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse

What you should do

  • If you are having a medical emergency please dial 911.
  • If you are ill, but not experiencing a medical emergency and feel you may have COVID-19, we recommend you stay home as you would with any other illness, and call your provider. We have testing available.
  • If you do not have a health care provider and feel you need to be seen for respiratory symptoms, we have a clinic where you can be seen and evaluated during our regular business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Contact us at (802) 674-7300, Option #5.

Testing and insurance

Mt. Ascutney Hospital charges $248 for testing of the COVID-19 virus. Insurance companies should not be charging a co-pay to patients for testing. If you get a bill for a co-pay for this service we will assist you in getting this corrected with your insurance company.

If you do not have insurance, and you receive a statement directly from us for a test, please call our Customer Service Office at (802) 674-7471, and we will assist you.

Telehealth

Please consider the benefits of telehealth video visit instead of an in-person visit.  Recently introduced, and now being offered to our patients, this service will offer you a safer, more convenient way to receive ongoing medical consultations from a medical professional while you stay home and help contribute to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

If you do not have a myMAHHC Patient Portal account with us, you will need to set one up, as this is the only way you can access telehealth services. Hospital staff are currently contacting patients to assist with signing up, but we welcome you to enroll at your convenience.

To enroll in myMAHHC on your own, please have your email address handy, and go to the MAHHC Self-Enrollment for My Patient Portal website, or call (802) 674-7300, and choose option #3 for the Primary Care Clinic and speak with a representative who can help you get enrolled.