Vermont health officials report two more deaths as coronavirus cases rise to nearly 100


FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. Wide scale testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with the test kits the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Vermont health officials say two more people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus have died, including another patient at Burlington Health & Rehab.

A total of 7 people have died in Vermont; five of the victims were patients or residents at Burlington Health & Rehab, a long-term care facility on Pearl Street.

The number of people who have tested positive for the virus jumped to 95, the department reports, an increase of 20 since Monday. More than 1,530 people have so far been tested. Health Comissioner Mark Levine says commercial labs are now conducting coronavirus tests and that Vermonters should prepare for a rise in positive results.

Vermont businesses and not-for-profits have been ordered by Gov. Phil Scott to allow employees to work from home. Over the weekend, the governor issued a directive that shuttered close-contact business, such as gyms, hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors.

On Monday, the governor said Vermonters can expect additional measures, including an order for all residents to remain in their homes except for emergencies and to purchase food and medicine.

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