From Bennett Truman, spokesperson for the Vermont Department of Health:

A Note About These Numbers:  This press release reports an additional 16 positive cases as of 3/20/2020. And on our website today (3/21/2020), we are reporting a total of 49 cases, up from 29 yesterday- or an increase of 20 positive cases.

This difference (16 vs. 20) is because the case numbers reported on the website are confirmed positive results received almost right up to when we post them on the website.

The press release is about the cases as of last night. The website reflects all cases in Vermont as of when those numbers were posted online.

The Vermont Department of Health on Saturday reported 20 new positive cases of novel coronavirus COVID-19 statewide. Seven of those cases are residents of the Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center (BHR). Health Department epidemiologists have been on site and issued updated guidance for this facility and all long-term care facilities statewide with a known infection. Health officials have also spoken with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

POSITIVE CASES REPORTED 3/20/20

  • Male in his 30’s. Chittenden County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 40’s. Chittenden County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 20’s. Chittenden County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Male over the age of 80. Franklin County of resident. Hospitalized at Northwestern Vermont Medical Center.
  • Male in his 70’s, Addison County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Male in his 70’s, Windsor County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Male over the age of 80, Franklin County resident, Hospitalized at Northwestern Vermont Medical Center.
  • Female in her 30’s. Windsor County resident. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 50’s. Windham County resident. Hospitalized at Cheshire Medical Center.

Seven positives at Burlington Health and Rehab:

  • Female in her 60’s. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 70’s. Not hospitalized.
  • Female over the age of 80. Not hospitalized.
  • Female over the age of 80. Not hospitalized.
  • Male in his 70’s. Not hospitalized.
  • Male in his 70’s. Not hospitalized.
  • Female in her 70’s. Not hospitalized.

Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center has been following CDC guidance on treatment and isolation of COVID-19 patients since Monday, March 16, 2020. The Health Department has prioritized identifying and testing any symptomatic patients and health care workers at the facility following the initial positive tests. The facility is checking the temperature of all staff before they enter the building and having employees who are symptomatic stay at home. 

The Health Department continues to prioritize identifying and testing any symptomatic residents and staff in facilities where a case has been identified. The department recommends that long term care facilities follow updated CDC guidance to mitigate exposure. In addition:

Plan for Residents

  • If a long-term care facility resident tests positive, they will remain at the facility, unless they require hospitalization. 
  • If residents are symptomatic or otherwise ineligible to be released, they will remain at the long-term care facility, unless they require hospitalization. 
  • If residents are asymptomatic and eligible for discharge, the resident will be discharged and quarantined for 14 days.
  • Residents that have been discharged in the last 14 days will be contacted and urged to quarantine.

Plan for Staff

  • If staff test positive or are symptomatic, they must return or stay at home and follow these CDC recommendations. These recommendations include instructions on when isolation can be discontinued.
  • Employees of the long term care facility will be restricted from entering other long term care facilities or communal settings with groups at higher risk for COVID-19.
  • The facility will assess all employees’ risk of exposure and exclude employees from work for 14 days after their last exposure, if appropriate.
  • Continued use of stringent PPE & access control measures with twice a day temperature checks.

The Health Department continues to prioritize testing samples from health care workers who are symptomatic, people who are hospitalized, residents of long-term care facilities, people who are immunocompromised, and other high-risk groups.

For up-to-date information and guidance for staying healthy and preventing the spread of illness go to: healthvermont.gov/covid19.

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