As of 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 23, 107 Maine residents have been confirmed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.
Three more people linked to the Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center have died after contracting COVID-19, Vermont’s top public health official said Monday.
Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said that more than a dozen patients at the center and one staff member have now tested positive for the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
Four of Vermont’s five virus deaths are connected to Burlington Health and Rehabilitation.
Levine said officials have been in contact with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeking additional guidance for the Burlington outbreak.
“They have no desire to come here because, as I have said before, we have numerous outbreaks across the country in long-term care facilities as a result of COVID-19,” Levine said.
The number of Vermont patients who have tested positive for the virus jumped by almost two dozen to a total of 75, although a part of that is a function of the additional testing that is taking place, Levine said.
Separately, Gov. Phil Scott said Monday that Vermonters should prepare for more restrictions to help stem the pandemic that is sweeping the world. Scott wouldn’t describe those restrictions in detail, but he said it would not be a shelter-in-place order.
“What we are going to advocate is just what we have done thus far. It will probably take another step,”‘ Scott said. “We want people to stay at home.”
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.
Remote instruction will continue for the rest of the spring semester at the University of Vermont and graduation is unlikely to happen as planned to help reduce the spread of the new coronavirus, the university’s president, Suresh Garimella, said in a letter to students and staff on Monday.
Students currently living in residential halls should return home, he said. The university will work with students who may not have viable alternatives to provide emergency housing options, he said. Except those approved for emergency housing, students will not have access to rooms, their possessions or associated facilities after March 30, he said. The university is also encouraging non-local students living off campus to go home.
The school will issue housing and meal credit and plans to make a decision about commencement by the end of March, Garimella said.