Second Presumptive Case of New Coronavirus COVID-19 in Vermont

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2020

Media Contact:
Ben Truman │ Vermont Department of Health
802-951-5153 desk / 802-316-2117 mobile
bennett.truman@vermont.gov

Second Presumptive Case of New Coronavirus COVID-19 in Vermont

BURLINGTON, VT – The second presumptive positive case in Vermont of the new coronavirus COVID-19 was reported late Wednesday by the Vermont Department of Health. The Chittenden County adult is being treated at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont. The announcement comes less than a week after the first case in an individual from Bennington County was reported.

The patient is a male in his seventies. He was hospitalized this week. Health officials are investigating the person’s possible exposure history, and contact tracing is underway to identify anyone who may have been in close contact with him. Those people will be assessed for their exposure risk and provided with guidance for their health and recommendations for self-isolation or other restrictions.

“We are, first and foremost hopeful for this gentleman’s recovery,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “This case came to light the same day that the World Health Organization officially termed the outbreak a global pandemic. The seriousness of this virus and the rate it is spreading in the US and around the world reinforces the importance of everyone staying informed and following CDC guidance about avoiding crowds, non-essential travel, and other recommended steps for protecting your health and preventing germs from spreading.”

The State Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury was activated this week to coordinate Vermont’s prevention and response efforts with federal, state, and local partners. Together with the Health Department, information, resources and guidance are being provided to health care providers, hospitals, employers, child cares, senior centers and congregate housing, schools, universities and others.

People are urged to  go to healthvermont.gov/covid19 for the most up-to-date information and guidance about COID-19, including from the CDC.

Who to call:

  • If you have questions about COVID-19: Dial 2-1-1
  • If you are returning from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea or Japan: Call Health Department Epidemiology at 802-863-7240
  • If you are ill, have symptoms (such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing), or are concerned about your health: Call your health care provider

Person-to-person spread of the virus is thought to occur 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 a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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