Vermont Health Department Reports the State's First Coronavirus Case | Off Message

Vermont Health Department Reports the State's First Coronavirus Case


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The Vermont Health Department reported the state's first case of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, late Saturday night.

A test of a Vermont resident returned a presumptive positive result. Officials were awaiting confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the department said in a press release.

Gov. Phil Scott will hold a press conference at the Vermont Department of Public Safety headquarters in Waterbury on Sunday morning to provide updates on the case and the state's response efforts.

The adult patient is hospitalized in an airborne-infection isolation room, according to health officials, who are investigating the patient's travel and exposure history. Those who have been in close contact with the patient "will be assessed for their exposure risk and provided with guidance for their health, and recommendations for self-isolation or other restrictions," the press release says.

“Our first thoughts are with this patient and for their recovery,” Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine said in a statement. “While we had hoped the virus would not come to Vermont, we have been preparing for this eventuality. This new coronavirus can be serious and even deadly, but the state is mobilized to protect the health of Vermonters and we are prepared for the likelihood of more cases.”

The news comes just days after Scott held a press conference to detail how Vermont has prepared to respond to the crisis. Levine said Vermont hospitals have sufficient equipment and capacity to handle an outbreak but stressed that most people who contract COVID-19 will not require hospitalization.
The virus has sickened more than 100,000 people across the globe and killed at least 3,500 since it emerged in China last December. Vermont is currently monitoring 224 people for coronavirus symptoms, which include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.

Twenty-three Vermonters have completed the monitoring period with no sign of sickness, and 28 have tested negative, according to the health department.