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With Covid resurgence, hospital announces changes

BRATTLEBORO—With the increase in positivity of the omicron variant of COVID-19 throughout Vermont, as well as staffing challenges that all hospitals in the state are experiencing, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital says it has taken several measures “to assure the continuation of essential hospital services and the safety of our patients and staff.”

As of Jan. 10, the following operational changes at BMH have taken effect:

• Staff at BMH’s Primary Care practices are transitioning new-patient and other applicable appointments to telehealth, with all in-person visits to be conducted at Brattleboro Internal Medicine and Putney Family Healthcare. All wellness visits will be postponed for at least four weeks.

• The hospital is reducing its surgical volume to one operating room for scheduled procedures. Emergency and urgent surgeries will continue to be performed, while non-emergency surgical patients can expect their respective practices to reschedule procedures.

• At BMH Rehabilitation Services at 580 Canal St., capacity has been reduced to 50 percent to ensure appropriate social distancing. The practice will offer telehealth visits, with in-person appointments only for patients in greatest need.

• The hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is suspending all in-person services, and its education segments are now being offered via Zoom.

• All vaccine clinics will be relocated to BMH through the Richards Building entrance. Vaccines will no longer be administered at 53 Fairview St.

• The Testing Clinic remains at 417 Canal St., and the hospital says it is increasing its testing appointment schedules to address the high demand for Covid testing.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #646 (Wednesday, January 12, 2022). This story appeared on page A6.

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