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One important protocol that has been implemented is that all patients should arrive to the hospital or clinic with their own cloth face covering and it must be worn for the entire duration of their visit.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care Resumes Elective Procedures

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BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care's outpatient surgeries and diagnostic services, like those for imaging and laboratory work, have resumed in full with enhanced safety protocols after Gov. Phil Scott announced May 4 that hospitals could resume these services.

In early March, the governor directed health systems to put on hold non-urgent appointments and procedures as Vermont prepared for, and responded to, COVID-19. 

One important protocol that has been implemented is that all patients should arrive to the hospital or clinic with their own cloth face covering and it must be worn for the entire duration of their visit.

"SVHC has always maintained the highest standards in terms of safety, quality, and cleanliness, and immediately adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for COVID-19," said Thomas A. Dee, SVMC's president and CEO. "We are now eager to resume providing care for all of our patients' health needs."

Even with suspending elective surgical procedures in early March and focusing on the COVID-19 crisis, SVHC continued to provide safe, high-quality care for patients requiring urgent and emergent surgical interventions. Additionally, the health system's emergency department, ExpressCare and most of its specialty practices consistently remained open during the pandemic. Many practices continued to see patients through enhanced telemedicine appointments. And, the hospital's Women's and Children's Department welcomed 40 babies during the month of April.

"Our utmost priority is to keep our patients, providers and staff safe. Patients whose procedures were postponed should feel comfortable to come to the hospital to receive care," said Dr. Trey Dobson, SVMC’s chief medical officer. "With all of the precautions and protocols instituted, the hospital is likely our community’s safest public space."

Patients will questions about how to resume or initiate elective care should call their primary care provider or the specialist directly. For a list of providers, visit the website. To reschedule a procedure that was canceled, call 802-447-5541.

Patients with cough or shortness of breath or any two of the following — fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell — should contact their primary care provider or the COVID-19 Informational Hotline at 802-440-8844 before arriving to either their provider’s office or the hospital. For a detailed list of safety protocols, frequently asked questions, visitor guidelines, and COVID-19 information, visit the website.


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Vermont Fish & Wildlife: Pollinators in Peril

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MONTPELIER, Vt. — Many of Vermont's pollinator species are in peril, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department would like to share a few simple suggestions to greatly benefit our essential pollinator species.
 
"The majority of our flowering plants need pollinators in order to produce seeds," said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department zoologist Mark Ferguson. "Vermont is home to hundreds of species of pollinators from bees to butterflies to beetles and other bugs that play a vital role in pollinating our flowers, trees and food crops. These insects are responsible for pollinating 60 to 80 percent of Vermont's wild plants and play a critical role in the propagation of fruits and vegetables in gardens, wild berry patches, commercial berry farms, and apple orchards." 
 
But many pollinator species in Vermont are in trouble. Habitat loss, invasive species, single-crop farming, disease, and pesticides are a few of the threats affecting populations of these insects across our state. Vermont's native bees, including more than 300 unique species and three that are threatened or endangered, are among our pollinators being impacted the most. 
 
A recent examination of our 17 different bumble bees compared recent observations with historical collections and concluded that several species have drastically declined or disappeared from Vermont, including the rusty-patched bumble bee. 
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