UVM Medical Center officials briefed reporters Thursday on the hospital’s preparations for an outbreak of the novel cornovirus in Vermont.
Two people in Vermont have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and some 215 others are being monitored for symptoms. Most of those being monitored have traveled to affected areas, such as China, South Korea and Italy.
Stephen Leffler, UVM Medical Center president and chief operating officer, said the hospital has been preparing for a coronavirus outbreak for several weeks. He said that while there have only been two cases in the state, and 80 percent of people infected will have only mild symptoms, everyone should assume they will come in contact with the virus
“All of us should be very confident there are other cases out in our community right now,” Leffler said. “You should assume when you’re going out and about now that you are being exposed.”
Leffler said the second case involved a 70-year-old Chittenden County man who was brought to UVMMC by ambulance before being admitted. “It was well-coordinated effort,” Leffler said, involving the patient’s primary-care provider, the state health laboratory and the CDC, which confirmed the test results Tuesday evening.
This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.