One case can spiral into many.
That is what the Scott Administration reminded the state in Friday’s COVID-19 briefing.
To date, there are now 89 total infections related to the hockey outbreak in central Vermont, which led to a domino effect of four additional outbreaks and exposures at 19 other locations.
Commissioner Michael Pieciak said there are no fatalities related to the outbreak. The majority of those affected are said to be younger individuals or in college.
State epidemiologist Patsy Kelso confirmed a link between cases in central Vermont and cases reported at St. Michael’s College.
“The outbreak in central Vermont has accounted for 26.5% of all cases that we’ve reported over these last two weeks,” said Commissioner Michael Pieciak.
Health Commissioner Mark Levine says now we’re seeing what happens when we let our guard down.
“And while we should be proud, we may have gotten a little too comfortable with our relative success, thinking Vermont is different than other places. But Vermont is not safe from covid-19. No place is,” said Dr. Levine.
In fact, as of Thursday, the country exceeded 9 million confirmed cases.
“This is notable not just for an additional million cases being added to our total, but that this was the quickest we added a million cases since we started the pandemic,” said Pieciak.
While Vermont’s case count is among the lowest in the nation, the virus is still spreading and doing so quickly. In fact, it only took days for the hockey outbreak to go from one case to 13…now that number is close to 90.
“Just one case can quickly spread to multiple communities, multiple schools and work sites and colleges and other settings,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kelso.
Kelso confirmed a link between the central Vermont outbreak and cases at St. Michael’s college, where there are 41 cases with an additional six reported Thursday.
“I think the most important takeaway from this is that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of covid-19,” said Kelso.
Dr. Kelso identified several behaviors involved in Vermont’s growing case numbers including gatherings, failure to wear masks, and not following quarantine rules if identified as a close contact.
“We have the tracing and testing capacity to manage our way through this upticks, but we also need the help of all of you to mitigate this,” said Governor Phil Scott.