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Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

April 1, 2020

New information is in red.

This update is also available at healthvermont.gov/covid19 under UPDATES

 

Vermonters are asked to stay home as much as possible to keep everyone safe during this pandemic. Please leave for essentials only, such as food, and keep a safe distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. This is essential to slowing the spread of the virus and protecting people who are more vulnerable to serious illness, including death.

Though we may all feel isolated at this time, we can, and should, connect with each other through technology, reading books, playing games and finding hobbies we enjoy. We’re all in this together.

The Department of Health wants Vermonters to know:

Visit healthvermont.gov/covid19 for the most up-to-date information and guidance (see new additions below).

All travelers coming to Vermont from out-of-state will now need to home-quarantine for 14 days (see details below).
For the most up-to-date information and guidance visit healthvermont.gov/covid19. (see new additions below)
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath):
CALL your health care provider. Many people who are mildly ill can manage their symptoms at home with rest, drinking fluids and taking fever-reducing medicine, when needed.
Testing is currently limited and is prioritized to healthcare workers, hospitalized patients, and vulnerable populations.
Not everybody needs to be tested. Do not call the Health Department. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.
If you need to go food shopping, to the pharmacy or do other essential activities, keep a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. Six feet is about the length of a 3-person couch or a bed.
It’s OK to get fresh air, exercise outside and walk your dog – as long as you keep 6 feet away from other people.
New science is coming in about how COVID-19 is transmitted – including how much that may happen before people experience any symptoms. While we don’t yet have all the answers, we do know that staying home and keeping your distance during essential activities is now more important than ever.

Vermont’s Response

Travel Restrictions

At a press conference Monday, March 30, Governor Phil Scott announced new restrictions on travelers arriving in Vermont. Residents and non-residents coming to Vermont from outside the state ­– for anything other than an essential purpose ­­– should home-quarantine for 14 days. Travel to Vermont by anyone from a COVID-19 “hot spot” is strongly discouraged at this time. Read the order and the press release.

Travelers should follow the CDC’s Domestic Travel Advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which advised residents of those states to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.

Lodging Operations

The Governor’s order also clarifies that all lodging operations are to be suspended. Lodging facilities – which includes hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals (e.g. VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb, etc.), and all public and private camping facilities and RV parks – are to be closed except for stated exemptions when supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. Online lodging reservations are also suspended. The Vermont State Police and local law enforcement will monitor lodging providers for compliance and work with the Attorney General’s Office on additional compliance measures if needed.

Testing

Two additional COVID-19 testing sites opened in Essex and Grand Isle counties to provide Vermonters with as broad access to testing as possible. The sites are located at the Island Pond Health Center in Island Pond and at the Champlain Islands Health Center in South Hero.

IMPORTANT: Everyone must have a referral from their provider in order to be tested:

CALL your health care provider to be evaluated and for the provider to determine if you need a test.
DO NOT go to a testing site without an order from your provider.
Patients who are NOT experiencing symptoms will not be tested.

Expanded testing means the Health Department will have more results to report – including in the number of new cases. So, a potential jump in those numbers should be expected. Increased testing will allow for more people to know the care they need and what precautions to take, and for greater understanding of the scope of the disease’s spread in Vermont.

On March 26, Governor Phil Scott directed schools to remain dismissed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Districts will close schools for in-person instruction and be required to implement continuity of learning plans for remote learning. This extends the Governor’s previous directive dismissing PreK-12 schools from March 18 to April 6. Read the press release.

On March 24, Governor Phil Scott issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and directed the closure of in-person operations for all non-essential businesses. These restrictive measures are in place to minimize all unnecessary activities outside the home to slow the spread of this virus and protect the public. 

Effective today, March 25, 2020 at 5 p.m., all businesses and not-for-profit entities not expressly exempted in the order must suspend all in-person business operations. Operations that can be conducted online or by phone, or sales that can be facilitated with curbside pickup or delivery only, can continue. 

The order follows Gov. Scott’s declaration of a state of emergency in March, and a number of community mitigation actions throughout the month, including the orderly dismissal of all schools and cancellation of all school related activities. It will last through April 6, but may be extended for a longer period. Child care centers are also closed, except those providing care for workers who are essential to Vermont’s ongoing effort in the current pandemic.

The Health Department has also taken the following actions:

Cautioning Vermonters against using non-approved drugs to treat COVID-19. At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drugs specifically for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Read the press release.

Warning Vermonters that the new coronavirus attacks the lungs, making it harder for people who smoke or vape – tobacco, cannabis or anything else – to fight off the virus, putting them at much greater risk of severe illness, even death. There has never been a better time, and there has never been a better reason, to quit – and 802quits.org can help with online or phone quit coaching, quit resources and tools.

The Vermont Department of Health has also launched VTHelplink, a new, single source clearinghouse for Vermonters to receive free, confidential and personalized information and referrals to substance use prevention, treatment and recovery services throughout the state. Read the press release.

Case Information

New: Limited hospitalization data is now being provided below and at healthvermont.gov/covid19.

Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont

As of 1:00 p.m. on April 1, 2020

 

Positive test results*
321
Total tests conducted 
4,495
Deaths+
16
People being monitored
153
People who have completed monitoring
645

 

*Includes testing conducted at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory, commercial labs and other public health labs.

+Death occurring in persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending.

Hospitalization Rates

 

Hospitalized patients with COVID-19                                  30
Hospitalized patients under investigation for COVID-19     45
 

Hospitalization data is provided by the Vermont Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition and is based on hospitals updating this information as they are able.

These tables, a map of case numbers by county and a chart of case number totals are available on our COVID-19 web page under COVID-19 Activity in Vermont.

Please note: Due to the increasing number of cases and investigations, detailed demographic information is no longer able to be compiled by our epidemiology and investigation teams in time to match the posting of case numbers. We are looking at alternative forms of reporting this detail.

Guidance for Vermonters

When to call:

If you have questions: Dial 2-1-1. If you have trouble reaching 2-1-1, dial 1-866-652-4636.
Travelers returning from high risk countries or from a cruise: Call Health Department Epidemiology at 802-863-7240.
If you are sick or concerned about your health: Call your health care provider by phone. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.
Who can be tested?

If you are ill, call your health care provider. Testing is not treatment and not everyone needs to be tested. Do not call 2-1-1 or the Health Department about testing.

All specimens submitted by health care providers to the UVM Medical Center will be tested. However, testing resources in Vermont and in the U.S. are currently limited. For now, Vermont testing will prioritize samples from health care workers who are symptomatic, patients who are hospitalized, long-term care facility residents, those who are incarcerated and other high-priority groups. All other specimens will be tested as quickly as resources allow.

The Health Department is also cautioning Vermonters against using non-approved drugs to treat COVID-19. At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drugs specifically for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Read the press release

New to healthvermont.gov

The Health Department website has several new features:

A new section called “Ask a Question,” which allows visitors to type questions about COVID-19 in Vermont into a box. The information we currently have available will be provided as an answer. We appreciate your patience as we continue to update this information regularly.
A new COVID-19 web page to meet the specific needs of health care providers. It includes current guidance, health alerts, and resources for protecting patients and health care workers in different settings. It can be found at healthvermont.gov/covid19-providers.
Fact sheets with COVID-19 information for health care workers, in addition to Vermonters who are awaiting test results for COVID-19, diagnosed with COVID-19, or a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
A new fact sheet is available explaining what the terms isolation, quarantine and self-observation mean for Vermonters.
A new section called “Coping with COVID-19 Stress” gives Vermonters tips and resources on how to navigate these uncertain times.

Translated Materials

The Health Department has fact sheets translated into nine languages on its website What You Need to Know About Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can also find links to translated videos created by the Spectrum Multicultural Youth Program, Howard Center and other Burlington community members.

Stay up to date at healthvermont.gov/covid19

 

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