VDH Seeks Increased Testing for Vermonters Going Back to Work
This past week,
the Vermont Department of Health opened pop-up COVID-19 testing sites in
Colchester, Bennington, Brattleboro and White River Junction for all asymptomatic
healthcare workers, childcare providers and essential workers. VDH also announced this
week that all asymptomatic testing for these workers will be done under the
order of Dr. Levine, and not require a clinician order, and all of the positive
results will be delivered by phone call from public health nurses who will ask
about a patient’s primary care provider and encourage the patient to connect
with their medical home. If the patient does not have a primary care provider,
the nurse will provide information for the nearest FQHC to make that
here for dates and locations of upcoming pop-up sites. Individuals
must register in advance.
On the VMS hosted
call today, Commissioner of Health Mark Levine said the goal of these
pop-ups are to test asymptomatic essential workers and to support practices in
opening up safely before providing outpatient and non-urgent procedures.
Commissioner Levine said practices that do procedures in the office need to
submit a protocol for their office that includes testing for all of their
health care personnel, but said VDH is not prescribing a specific protocol.
Protocols can be submitted to VDH Deputy Commissioner Jenney Samuelson at
Jenney.Samuelson@vermont.gov. VMS has been coordinating with the Vermont Association of Hospitals and
Health Systems and other provider associations to provide more guidelines to
practices regarding testing asymptomatic workers, such as frequency and
sampling size. There is currently a dearth of national guidance to draw
on for this type of testing. Commissioner Levine anticipates that the
pop-ups will soon be opened to anyone that wants a test, but this is not
House Health Care Committee Weighs Changes in PA Regulation
The House Health Care Committee held a preliminary hearing today on S. 128, a bill that passed the Senate in February and would modernize the regulation of PA practice, moving it to a collaborative model rather than supervisory. The Vermont Medical Society supports S. 128 and testified in favor of the bill today, along with several members of the PA Academy of Vermont and the Board of Medical Practice. The Committee will be reviewing minor technical corrections and discussing the bill further. The Committee also took testimony today on whether Vermont should join a nurse licensing compact.
VMS Publishes COVID-19 Dashboard
Since Governor Scott passed the "Stay at Home" Executive Order, the Vermont Medical Society has been working tirelessly to provide you with the resources and information you need to help you help others during COVID-19. We created a VMS COVID-19 Dashboard to track actions that include, but are not limited to:
- Hosting weekly call with VDH Commissioner with an average of 150 participants;
- Doubling the Rounds newsletter to twice weekly.
- Coordinating emergency response efforts on daily call with 12 other VT health care organizations;
- Passing emergency legislation for flexibility in licensing and telehealth coverage, liability protection, financial assistance and no prior auth or cost-sharing for COVID care;
- Hosting three-part webinar series on State and federal financial relief programs with Pastore Financial Group;
- Creating two new peer support programs: our "Lumunos Huddle" and Peer-to-Peer Networking Group; and
- Creating COVID-19 Resource Page
Click for the VMS COVID-19 Dashboard
Recently Updated COVID-19 Helpful Links: