BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Vermont Department of Health confirmed the second presumptive case of coronavirus in Vermont.
The Chittenden County adult is being treated at the University of Vermont Medical Center. This case comes less than a week after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Bennington County.
Health officials say the patient is a man in his 70s and was hospitalized this week. They’re working to investigate the man’s possible exposure history and identify anyone who may have been in close contact with him. Officials say they will assess those people and determine if self-isolation is necessary.
“We are, first and foremost hopeful for this gentleman’s recovery,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “This case came to light the same day that the World Health Organization officially termed the outbreak a global pandemic. The seriousness of this virus and the rate it is spreading in the US and around the world reinforces the importance of everyone staying informed and following CDC guidance about avoiding crowds, non-essential travel, and other recommended steps for protecting your health and preventing germs from spreading,” Levine said.
Dr. Levine said that in the first day of this week, the State used roughly the same number of tests as all of last week.
“I can pretty much say consistently that no State feels like they have enough kits at this point in time, and we would project at the current rate of use that in a few weeks, we may not have enough kits either,” Dr. Levine said.
He expressed confidence that the federal government will send more kits as needed, but Vermont is keeping a strict inventory of how many have been used.
“UVM Medical Center has been preparing to treat patients with COVID-19 for several weeks. We’ve had everyone at the table that needs to be there. Our teams are well-trained and ready to offer high-quality care to anyone infected with the virus. We have the necessary resources to ensure our patients receive the care they need,” said Stephen Leffler, MD, president and chief operating officer of UVM Medical Center.
The state activated an Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury this week to coordinate prevention efforts.