Vermont Confirms Three Additional COVID-19 Cases, Bringing Total To Eight

Mar 15, 2020

Updated 4:20 pm.

The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory reported three more positive cases of COVID-19 Sunday afternoon, following a similar announcement Saturday. Officials said the three latest cases involve non-Vermont residents who are in the state either receiving care or isolating at home.

A man in his 70s from Berkshire County, Massachusetts is receiving treatment at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, a man in his 50s from Suffolk County, Massachusetts is self-isolating in his Windsor County, Vermont home, and a Kings County, New York woman in her 20s is self-isolating at her family home in Chittenden County.

This brings Vermont's COVID-19 case total up to eight. On Saturday, officials said a Windsor County man in his 90s, a Washington County man in his 50s and a Westchester County, New York man in his 50s all tested positive for the illness caused by coronavirus. The first and second cases appeared at the beginning and middle of last week.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine told key lawmakers Saturday that his department has noticed a “theme” in which second-home owners, largely from down state New York, are decamping to second homes in Vermont to distance themselves from an outbreak in New Rochelle, N.Y.

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The health department noted Sunday the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention said Saturday that states no longer need to refer to their lab results as "presumptive positives" but can consider them as confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, the University of Vermont Medical Center is restricting access to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Patients are now limited to having two designated visitors. And the hospital is banning visitors under 16, people with flulike symptoms, and those who have traveled to high-risk countries. Additionally, the hospital is barring visitors who have had contact with people who are undergoing testing or have been confirmed for COVID-19.

One of the COVID-19 patients announced Sunday was a patient treated at UVMMC, the hospital said.

As with other cases, Vermont health officials said their contact tracing team is working to investigate the COVID-19 patients' travel history and community activities in order to identify anyone who may have been in close contact.

"Contact tracing" is one of the measures enacted by Gov. Phil Scott's executive order, which he issued Friday, the same day he declared a state of emergency in Vermont.