WATERBURY, Vermont — Vermont health officials have announced the state’s first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Health Commissioner Mark Levine said Sunday that an adult from Bennington County is in an isolation room at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.
“While this is sad news, it’s not unexpected,” he said at a news conference, where he was joined by Gov. Phil Scott and other officials. “We have been expecting this possibility and preparing for it.”
Levine said the patient’s exposure is not believed to have been related to travel. Officials declined to release any other information about the patient, citing privacy concerns.
Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 3,400, the vast majority of them in China. Most cases have been mild, and more than half of those infected have recovered.
In the U.S., the number of infections has grown to more than 400. Nineteen people have died, all but three of them in Washington state.
Bennington County is southwestern Vermont and borders Massachusetts in New York. In eastern Vermont, health officials are asking people who attended a private party at The Engine Room in White River Junction on Feb. 28 to monitor themselves for symptoms after a New Hampshire man who later tested positive for the virus ignored instructions to stay home and attended the event.