University of Vermont Medical Center Emergency Department Now Requires Clear Bags

The University of Vermont Medical Center’s new clear bag policy for visitors went into effect July 6 and is intended to bolster security.

University of Vermont Medical Center Emergency Department Now Requires Clear Bags

Image via Adobe, by Natis

Burlington, Vermont – The University of Vermont Medical Center appears to be following in the footsteps of its peers at other institutions of higher education and K-12 school districts, now requiring all visitors to the emergency department to use clear bags to hold their personal belongings.

The University of Vermont Medical Center’s policy change, which went into effect July 6, applies to personal bags, backpacks, and purses, reports MyNBC5. The change is intended to decrease lines and improve security, as well as reduce the potential transmission of infectious diseases.

Visitors who want to keep their personal belongings with them can use the clear bags being made available in the emergency department vestibule.

For several years now, some schools and institutions of higher education have adopted a similar policy, with K-12 schools often opting for clear backpacks, while colleges and universities often choose to limit non-clear bags to a small size or requiring larger bags to be clear.

In Michigan, Oxford Community Schools adopted a clear backpack policy after a 2021 mass shooting at Oxford High School killed four and injured seven others. Flint (Michigan) Community Schools banned all backpacks in May, prompted by the district’s growing safety concerns.

Boise State implemented its clear bag policy for football games in 2020, and the University of Nebraska implemented a similar policy in 2017. That same year, the Southeastern Conference began prohibiting non-clear bags larger than 4.5” by 6.5” at their stadiums. Other large Division I schools have followed suit.

Many hospitals have also adopted weapons detection technology over the past several years. This guide provides tips on using metal detectors effectively.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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