Officials investigate COVID-19 cluster in Winooski; free testing continues this week


Pop-up testing for the novel coronavirus continued at the O’Brien Community Center in Winooski on Tuesday in response to a report of seven new cases of COVID-19 in the city.

“We’ve been planning to do testing in Winooski but we did move our time frame up knowing we had a small number of positives here,” said Heather Danis with the Vermont Department of Health.

Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine, who announced the cluster of cases in the densely populated city, said the department is hoping to test 500 people by the end of the week.

“Clearly when you found a cluster it’s best to make it convenient at the moment and that’s why we’re gearing up there,” he said.

Testing is free and will continue for the rest of the week. Winooski residents can reserve a time slot online or walk in to community center for a test, which takes just a few seconds. Results are available within a few days.

“It does take a few days for the lab to process them,” Danis said. “Anyone that tests positive, they should be getting a call from a nurse at the health department informing them of their results and what their next steps are.”

Those who test negative will get a letter in the mail which can take up to a week. Meanwhile, Dr. Levine said the department will continue to trace the recent positive cases.

“Through the contact tracing process we know exactly how to assess how big this could be,” Levine said. “If we thought this was going to be very large, of course, we’d be alerting everyone.”

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