Health Care

Coronavirus causes cancellation of State House event

by Guy Page

March 9, 2020 – Concerns about the coronavirus have led to the cancellation of a reception scheduled to be held Tuesday at the Vermont State House, State House service manager who had planned to assist with the event said today.

The organizers cancelled the event due to caution about the coronavirus, the manager said. She did not identify the organization. Public policy organizations frequently hold receptions and advocacy events at the State House. A spokesman for the Vermont Sergeant of Arms office confirmed today that Efficiency Vermont cancelled an event scheduled for Tuesday, but did not indicate why.

At present, the 40th Army Band’s concert for Farmer’s Night Wednesday, March 11 at the State House is still on schedule, the Sgt. of Arms spokesperson said.

The Vermont Department of Health Saturday, March 7 announced the state’s first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Officials are awaiting confirmation of the presumptive positive test result by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The adult patient is currently hospitalized and in an airborne infection isolation room. Health officials are investigating the person’s travel and possible exposure history and are conducting contact tracing for anyone who has been in close contact with the person. Those individuals will be assessed for their exposure risk and provided with guidance for their health, and recommendations for self-isolation or other restrictions.

“Our first thoughts are with this patient and for their recovery,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “While we had hoped the virus would not come to Vermont, we have been preparing for this eventuality. This new coronavirus can be serious and even deadly, but the state is mobilized to protect the health of Vermonters and we are prepared for the likelihood of more cases,” said Dr. Levine.   

Also, two schools in Williston are closed today but will reopen tomorrow. A staff member reportedly stayed at a hotel where coronavirus patients also had stayed. And schools in the Windham County towns of Wilmington and Whitingham also are closed today due to coronavirus concerns.

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