AP NEWS

Vermont urges aggressive virus mitigation efforts at centers

March 22, 2020 GMT
1 of 2
Alicia Porter, a worker at Saxtons River Distillery in Brattleboro, Vt., stands next to containers that are used to store the high proof gin. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)
1 of 2
Alicia Porter, a worker at Saxtons River Distillery in Brattleboro, Vt., stands next to containers that are used to store the high proof gin. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

The Vermont Health Department is urging the state’s long-term care facilities to take the temperature of all staff members before they enter the buildings where they work.

Workers who are showing any signs of being ill are being told to stay home.

The moves are part of the state’s effort to stop the spread of the new coronavirus in long-term care facilities. More than 10 cases of COVID-19 were reported at the Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center. One patient at the facility died of COVID-19.

“This is perhaps the most complex public health event most Vermonters have experienced,” Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said in a statement. “And I can’t repeat this enough – It is extremely important for all of us, young and old, to take extra care to help protect the people most vulnerable to serious illness – older Vermonters and people with chronic illnesses or who have impaired immunity.”

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.

On Sunday, the health department reported the number of cases of COVID-19 in Vermont jumped by three cases. Two Vermont COVID-19 patients have died, including the elderly woman from the Burlington center, and an elderly veteran from Windsor County.

NEWSPAPERS AFFECTED

Two Vermont newspapers are having to temporarily cut-back operations and lay off staff because of the loss of advertising due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Steve Pappas, the publisher of the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, announced in the Herald Saturday the paper would cut back the number of print editions it publishes from five days a week to three, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

News will continue to be published on the papers’ websites.

Pappas says 20 employees across both newspapers are being laid off.

“Hopefully, after the health crisis has run its course over a few weeks, we will return to our regular Tuesday through Sunday publishing schedule,” Pappas wrote.

___

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.