For Immediate Release: March 14, 2020
Ben Truman │ Vermont Department of Health
802-951-5153 desk / 802-316-2117 mobile
Health Officials Announce Three New Presumptive Cases of New Coronavirus COVID-19
BURLINGTON, VT – The Vermont Department of Health reported three new presumptive positive cases in Vermont of the new coronavirus COVID-19. To date, there are now four presumptive positive cases and one case that has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The first is a Windsor County male over the age of 80. He is hospitalized at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont. The second is a Washington County male in his 50’s. He was initially treated at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, Vermont. He is currently in home isolation, following CVMC’s home care protocols. The third new presumptive positive case is also a male in his 50’s. He is a resident of Westchester County, New York. He was evaluated and tested at Springfield Hospital in Springfield, Vermont, and is self-isolating.
Vermont health officials have been in contact with our public health counterparts in New York and our other neighboring states to inform them of these cases. The Health Department’s contact tracing team has been working to investigate the patients’ travel history and related community activities, and to identify anyone who may have been in close contact with the patients. They will be assessed for their exposure risk and provided with guidance for their health and recommendations for self-isolation or other restrictions.
“We have been in contact with the hospitals and know these patients are receiving the best care possible,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “We expected that Vermont would see more cases, and that there likely will be more. As Governor Scott said yesterday, the full focus of the state is on minimizing spread of COVID-19 in our communities. We all have a critical role to play in flattening the potential curve of infections, and I ask every Vermonter to visit healthvermont.gov for up to date information about the steps to take to keep themselves and our communities healthy.”
Please go to healthvermont.gov/covid19 for the most up-to-date information and guidance about COVID-19, including from the CDC.
WHEN TO CALL
- If you have questions about COVID-19: Dial 2-1-1
- If you are returning from most of Europe, China, Iran or South Korea:
Call Health Department Epidemiology at 802-863-7240.
- If you are sick or concerned about your health: Contact your health care provider by phone. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation. Do not call the Health Department.
Person-to-person spread of the virus occurs mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Take these everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
On March 13, Gov. Phil Scott called on Vermonters to help protect our most vulnerable – the elderly and the very ill – and announced several mitigation strategies to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus. They include restricting visitor access at long-term care facilities and hospitals, prohibiting large, non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people and suspending out-of-state travel for state employees. Gov. Scott declared a state of emergency to help ensure Vermont has all the necessary resources to respond to this evolving threat. Read the executive order.
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About the Department of Health
We have been the state's public health agency for more than 130 years, working every day to protect and promote the health of Vermonters.