UVM Medical Center

Vermont Dept. of Health Identifies New Presumptive Positive COVID-19 Case

Today the Vermont Department of Health identified a new presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Vermont


Patient is Receiving Treatment at UVM Medical Center

BURLINGTON (VT) – Today the Vermont Department of Health identified a new presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Vermont. The patient is receiving treatment for the respiratory illness at the University of Vermont Medical Center, in coordination with the Vermont Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Our highest priority is to provide high-quality care to patients while maintaining a safe workspace for staff. Response protocols have been developed across the UVM Health Network based upon the organization's significant experience with similar health care scenarios.

At UVM Medical Center, a multidisciplinary team is coordinating preparedness and tailoring plans as more information about the virus becomes available. This group includes front line health care providers, senior leadership, patient placement, supply management, industrial hygiene, staff educators, emergency preparedness practitioners, facilities management, pharmacy, communications, infection prevention and infectious disease. We continue to remain up-to-date with current CDC and Vermont Department of Health guidelines.

“UVM Medical Center has been preparing to treat patients with COVID-19 for several weeks. We’ve had everyone at the table that needs to be there. Our teams are well-trained and ready to offer high-quality care to anyone infected with the virus. We have the necessary resources to ensure our patients receive the care they need,” said Stephen Leffler, MD, president and chief operating officer of UVM Medical Center.

COVID-19 is spread through droplets in the air, so coughing and sneezing can spread to nearby people. It is likely it can contaminate surfaces as well. The incubation period is thought to be 14 days. While coronavirus is front and center in the news, we are still in the peak of flu season. There are several simple steps that can help prevent the spread of the flu and coronavirus, including:

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Clean your hands frequently – wash your hands and use portable alcohol hand sanitizer before you eat.
  • Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hands.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Avoid crowded spaces.
  • Avoid traveling to countries the CDC has highlighted as having widespread, sustained transmission.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are a cough, fever and/or shortness of breath – similar to the flu. If you have mild symptoms, you should stay home and rest. If you more severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing or inability to eat or drink, call your doctor right away. If you have been in a place where the virus is circulating, you should also call your primary care doctor to get advice. Do not go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Department unless you’re short-of-breath, or otherwise need urgent medical help.

Additional updates related to COVID-19 will be posted to our website at: www.uvmhealth.org/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

You can also visit the Vermont Department of Health Website for more information: www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus

PLEASE NOTE: A press availability will be held on Thursday, March 12 at 1 p.m. in the Mary Fletcher Meeting Room on the main hospital campus. Please RSVP with Annie Mackin or Neal Goswami so we can manage parking.

About the University of Vermont Medical Center
The University of Vermont Medical Center is a 447-bed tertiary care regional referral center providing advanced care to approximately 1 million residents in Vermont and northern New York. Together with our partners at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, we are Vermont’s academic medical center. The University of Vermont Medical Center also serves as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties.

The University of Vermont Medical Center is a member of The University of Vermont Health Network, an integrated system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve.

For more information visit www.UVMHealth.org/MedCenter or visit our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog sites at www.UVMHealth.org/MedCenterSocialMedia.