BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont officials reported the state’s second positive test for the new coronavirus Wednesday night, hours after the University of Vermont announced that it will shift to remote methods of instruction rather than in-person classes starting next week.
The new patient, a man in his 70s, is hospitalized at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, according to the Vermont Department of Health.
Health officials are looking into the man’s exposure history and are tracing his steps to see who might have been in close contact.
“We are, first and foremost hopeful for this gentleman’s recovery,” Health Commissioner Mark Levine said in the department’s news release. “This case came to light the same day that the World Health Organization officially termed the outbreak a global pandemic.”
A look at developments in Vermont regarding the virus:
Officials did not provide further details Wednesday night about the second patient. The first person who tested positive remained hospitalized on Wednesday at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. The state announced their case on March 7.
For most people, the new 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.
The University of Vermont has announced that it will shift to remote methods of instruction rather than in-person classes starting next week. UVM President Suresh Garimella said in a campus-wide message on Wednesday that in-person classes will be canceled on Monday and Tuesday and then change to remote methods of instruction on March 18. The change does not affect medical students in the Larner College of Medicine. He said UVM will be open but events and gatherings will be restricted to 25 or fewer people. Residential undergraduate students are encouraged not to return to residence halls after spring break unless they need to live there.
Events canceled, postponed
Special Olympics Vermont said Wednesday that it has canceled its Winter Games scheduled for March 22-24 at Pico Mountain Killington. The organization said in a written statement that it is following the guidance from Special Olympics International. It also canceled the Unified Champion Schools Snowshoe Tournament planned for March 25.
Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s has postponed its annual Free Cone Day in April. It says some scoop shops in communities around the world will be unable to participate because of precautions about large public gatherings and that it hopes to reschedule the event for later in the year.