BURLINGTON, Vt. – With seven additional cases reported at Birchwood Terrace Rehab and Healthcare in Burlington’s North End, it is now considered Vermont’s second largest outbreak in the state.
Seven cases were confirmed at the facility Wednesday, for a total of 14.
Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a news conference Thursday that Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine committed to sending 250 test kits to Birchwood.
In a statement, Birchwood says it will take the extreme step of testing all residents and staff, even if they don’t have symptoms.
“We are also doing everything possible to minimize any additional cases. We have been strictly following CDC guidelines for screening and prevention since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Vermont, and not allowing visitors except at end of life,” said spokesperson Alecia DiMario in a statement.
“All employees must pass a screening protocol, and residents have been screened daily and closely monitored. Birchwood has also been following guidance of the Department of Health and Infectious Disease team at UVM Medical Center regarding parameters and guidelines for testing residents. We have been testing residents proactively and taken certain precautionary measures such as temperature checks twice per day.”
“Bad things are going to happen in Vermont, around the world now, that this virus has been unleashed and not yet been contained. What we need to do as a government is demonstrate to the residents and their loved ones that we’re doing everything we can.”BUrliongton Mayor Miro Weinberger
An outbreak response team is working on isolating patients and contact tracing.
Seven other senior facilities in the greater Burlington area are also reporting COVID-19 cases.
At least three deaths have been reported at Pinecrest at Essex, a 55-and-over apartment complex in Essex Junction. Two of the people who died were residents; one was the significant other of an employee at the facility.
Eight people have died at Burlington Health & Rehab, a long-term care facility, where 22 residents and 14 employees have tested positive.