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3 new presumptive cases of virus reported in Vermont

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WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Vermont is home to three new presumptive cases of the coronavirus, health authorities said Saturday.

There are now four presumptive positive cases and one confirmed case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in Vermont, the Department of Health said.

The department said the new cases involve a Windsor County man over the age of 80, a Washington County man in his 50s and a resident of Westchester County, N.Y., who is in his 50s.

The Windsor County man is hospitalized at the White River Junction VA Medical Center, and the Washington County man was treated at Central Vermont Medical Center before being sent home for isolation, authorities said. The Westchester County man was evaluated and tested at Springfield Hospital in Springfield and is self isolating.

"We expected that Vermont would see more cases, and that there likely will be more," said state Health Commissioner Mark Levine.

The Health Department said it has been working to investigate the patients' travel histories and identify anyone who may have been in close contact with them.

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In a separate statement, the VA Medical Center revealed that the diagnosed patient is a veteran inpatient.

"The Veteran is being cared for in respiratory isolation by staff who are specially trained on the Centers for Disease Control treatment guidelines, including the use of personal protective equipment and infection control techniques," the medical center said.

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In accordance with CDC guidelines, the VA is screening veterans and staff who have a fever, a cough, and shortness of breath.

Vermont's first reported case of the coronavirus, or COVID-19 disease, was identified in Bennington on March 7, and has since been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control. The patient, an adult male from Readsboro, has been placed in an isolation room at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. The second case was reported out of Chittenden County this week.

As of Saturday afternoon, 191 Vermonters were being monitored for COVID-19, and 131 had completed monitoring. Two hundred and twenty-seven Vermonters had tested negative for COVID-19, the health department said.

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Gov. Phil Scott declared a state of emergency Friday to help the state cope with the growing outbreak of COVID-19.


Jay Peak Resort, which typically keeps slopes open until early May, announced Saturday it will shut down due to the virus.

The closure also applies to the resort's indoor water park, climbing gym and other facilities, WMUR-TV reported. The resort said one of the factors behind the closure was an announcement by the provincial government of Quebec to limit entry into the U.S. Jay Peak is very popular with Canadian visitors.

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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