By Guy Page
Covid-19 cases are up at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington and hospital officials say they will need to reimpose a mask mandate if numbers continue to climb.
Last week, 140 employees tested positive, about nine times the 15 cases of two months ago, according to a UVMMC graph. Virtually all UVMMC employees are vaccinated.
Statewide, the Vermont Covid-19 dashboard reports 3400 new cases during the last two weeks. 40 patients are hospitalized, with two in the ICU. There have been no deaths reported in the last four days.
“Employee health is seeing a sharp increase in Covid-19 infections among staff, which is causing additional strain on our teams,” according to the April 18 “UVMMC This Week.” The internal communication was sent by an employee to Vermont Daily Chronicle.
Staff in non-patient, non-public areas are “strongly encouraged” to mask, except when in private offices. People eating meals should sit six feet apart, the memo said.
“If we continue to see increasing employee infection numbers, we may need to revisit mandating masks in all areas,” the memo said.