Vermonters urged to remain vigilante as COVID-19 cases spike in surrounding regions

Coronavirus

As the world reached a grim milestone this week of 1 million deaths from COVID-19, Gov. Phil Scott says Vermonters need to be careful not to become victims of our own success.

“With the positive trends we’ve been seeing for months, I know it can be easy to let down your guard and get out more, to see more friends, to go to more gatherings,” Scott said. “But if we let up and become more relaxed, all the hard work we have done can slip away as well.”

State leaders say Vermont isn’t seeing the uptick in cases they anticipated. In fact, this has been the lowest two week period of positive cases since May. But Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Piecieck echoed the governor, saying that could all change.

“Last time we had case counts this low, we saw our largest outbreak just that following week,” he said. ‘So a good reminder that even though cases are low, that could all change quickly even in Vermont.”

Quebec is experiencing a sudden surge and the number of people able to travel to Vermont without a quarantine has gone down from 4.7 million to 4.2 million.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine says the state will soon be receiving 12,000 rapid antigen tests from the federal government, primarily for people at high risk for the virus. But Levine says there are chances of false negatives or positives.

“I just wanted to wet your appetite with that,” said Dr. Levine. “We are not going to throw away these cards — they will definitely be used in Vermont — but they will be used with a significant amount of guidance.”

The state is expected to receive 180,000 of the tests by the end of this year.

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