Fletcher Allen Makes Changes to Visiting Policy in Anticipation of H1N1 Flu Season

For Release: 

September 29, 2009

Mike Noble
Marketing & Communications
(802) 847-2886 

View recent changes to Pediatric Visiting Hours

BURLINGTON, VT - Fletcher Allen Health Care has made changes to its visiting policy in an effort to protect both high-risk patients and its staff during the expected outbreak of H1N1 this fall.  Changes affect the Birthing Center, the Mother/Baby Unit, and intensive care units. 

The Birthing Center, located on the seventh floor of the McClure Building, and the Mother/Baby Unit, located on the fifth floor of the Shepardson Building have made the following changes:

  • The number of people accompanying the mother-to-be is limited to two persons.
  • These persons must remain the same throughout labor, delivery and the stay on the Mother and Baby Unit.  No alternates will be allowed to visit.
  • A child 12 years of age or older will count as one of the two allowed visitors.
  • The two visitors must have no signs of illness.
  • Children under 12 years of age cannot visit.

Additionally, the Intensive Care Units located on the 3rd and 4th floors of the McClure Building have instituted the following visiting policy:

  • Visitors are limited to include only immediate family members or close friends if the patient has no immediate family.
  • Visitors with signs of influenza-like illness (cough, cold or fever) will not be permitted to visit.
  • No visitors under the age of 12.
  • Visitors will be asked to use hand sanitizers entering the intensive care units and upon entering and leaving the patient’s room.
  • For patients sick with seasonal or H1N1 influenza visitors will wear a protective gown, gloves and mask while in the room.
  • Visitors will be asked to minimize contact with others in the hospital to reduce the risk of acquiring or spreading disease.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit located on the 7th floor of the McClure Building will make the following change effective October 1:

  • Only the child’s parents may visit, or the child’s mother and one consistent adult support person. 

These visiting precautions are in the best interests of our patients as the flu season begins.  Patient safety and infection control are top priorities at this institution.  We recognize that this flu season will not be like others in recent memory and we have made plans that anticipate different levels of a flu outbreak. The visiting policy changes are part of that plan and they may change as the flu season progresses.   

Fletcher Allen is also mounting a strong campaign to encourage staff to get both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 vaccine shot when it becomes available.  The organization will make the vaccines available to staff at no charge. 

About Fletcher Allen
Fletcher Allen Health Care, together with our partners at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is Vermont’s academic medical center.  Our mission is to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve by integrating patient care, education and research in a caring environment.  Fletcher Allen serves as a regional referral center -- providing advanced care to approximately one million people in Vermont and northern New York -- and as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties.  With more than 30 patient care sites and 100 outreach clinics, programs and services throughout the region, Fletcher Allen is committed to being a national model for the delivery of high-quality academic health care for a rural region.  For more information about Fletcher Allen, visit our Web site at www.fletcherallen.org.