Vermont Announces 16 New Positive COVID-19 Cases Including Seven at Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 21, 2020

Media Contact:
Ben Truman │ Vermont Department of Health
802-951-5153 / 802-863-7281
VDHMedia.COVID19@vermont.gov

 

Vermont Announces 16 New Positive COVID-19 Cases
Including Seven at Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center

BURLINGTON, VT – The Vermont Department of Health on Saturday reported 16 new positive cases of novel coronavirus COVID-19 statewide. Seven of those cases are residents of the Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center (BHR). Health Department epidemiologists have been on site and issued updated guidance for this facility and all long-term care facilities statewide with a known infection. Health officials have also spoken with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center has been following CDC guidance on treatment and isolation of COVID-19 patients since Monday, March 16, 2020. The Health Department has prioritized identifying and testing any symptomatic patients and health care workers at the facility following the initial positive tests. The facility is checking the temperature of all staff before they enter the building and having employees who are symptomatic stay at home. 

“All of us at the Health Department are deeply concerned with the news of these additional positive cases” said Dr. Levine. “Unfortunately, this new coronavirus can be very serious, especially for vulnerable Vermonters, and we have seen long-term care facilities across the country struggle to contain the virus.”

The Health Department continues to prioritize identifying and testing any symptomatic residents and staff in facilities where a case has been identified. The department recommends that long term care facilities follow updated CDC guidance to mitigate exposure. In addition:

Plan for Residents

  • If a long-term care facility resident tests positive, they will remain at the facility, unless they require hospitalization. 
  • If residents are symptomatic or otherwise ineligible to be released, they will remain at the long-term care facility, unless they require hospitalization. 
  • If residents are asymptomatic and eligible for discharge, the resident will be discharged and quarantined for 14 days.
  • Residents that have been discharged in the last 14 days will be contacted and urged to quarantine.

Plan for Staff

  • If staff test positive or are symptomatic, they must return or stay at home and follow these CDC recommendations. These recommendations include instructions on when isolation can be discontinued.
  • Employees of the long term care facility will be restricted from entering other long term care facilities or communal settings with groups at higher risk for COVID-19.
  • The facility will assess all employees’ risk of exposure and exclude employees from work for 14 days after their last exposure, if appropriate.
  • Continued use of stringent PPE & access control measures with twice a day temperature checks.

Facilities should continue to take aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including checking the temperature of all staff before they enter the building and having employees that are symptomatic remain at home. 

The Health Department continues to prioritize testing samples from health care workers who are symptomatic, people who are hospitalized, residents of long-term care facilities, people who are immunocompromised, and other high-risk groups.

“This is perhaps the most complex public health event most Vermonters have experienced,” Dr. Levine said. “And I can’t repeat this enough – It is extremely important for all of us, young and old, to take extra care to help protect the people most vulnerable to serious illness – older Vermonters and people with chronic illnesses or who have impaired immunity.”

POSITIVE CASES REPORTED 3/20/20

  • Male in his 30’s. Chittenden County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 40’s. Chittenden County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 20’s. Chittenden County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Male over the age of 80. Franklin County of resident. Hospitalized at Northwestern Vermont Medical Center.
  • Male in his 70’s, Addison County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Male in his 70’s, Windsor County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Male over the age of 80, Franklin County resident, Hospitalized at Northwestern Vermont Medical Center.
  • Female in her 30’s. Windsor County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 50’s. Windham County resident. Hospitalized at Cheshire Medical Center.

Seven positives at Burlington Health and Rehab:

  • Female in her 60’s. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 70’s. Not hospitalized.
  • Female over the age of 80. Not hospitalized.
  • Female over the age of 80. Not hospitalized.
  • Male in his 70’s. Not hospitalized.
  • Male in his 70’s. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 70’s. Not hospitalized.

For up-to-date information and guidance for staying healthy and preventing the spread of illness go to: healthvermont.gov/covid19.

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