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COVID-19 updates for Sunday, March 22: Sullivan County has 1st confirmed case

Staff and wire reports
Published: 3/22/2020 5:35:27 PM
Modified: 3/23/2020 9:19:01 AM

Sullivan County has its first confirmed case of the new coronavirus illness, according to the latest data from the state Department of Health and Human services.

Meanwhile, thus far in New Hampshire, six patients out of the 78 positive confirmed cases, or 8%, have required hospitalization.

Sullivan County’s first case is among 13 new cases in the state, according to a new release Sunday evening.

Fifteen of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire are in Grafton County, including one of the new cases announced Sunday. (That total also includes a case that had previously been attributed to Coos County.)

Grafton County has the second highest number of confirmed infections in the state, behind Rockingham County’s 28.

The new cases are all adults, including nine males and four females. Eight of the new cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Five of the cases have no identified risk factors. Community-based transmission has been identified in the majority of the counties in the state.

Nine new cases are isolating at home. Two of the new cases are currently hospitalized and one was hospitalized and released.

NH VA medical centerwill screen in cars for COVID-19

Starting on Monday, all veterans arriving of the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center will be screened in their vehicles as part of its efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Veterans who are showing no symptoms will be required to use the Mountain Entrance to get in.

“We have taken steps to limit on-site traffic by converting a large portion of our care delivery from face-to-face to virtual care,” said Kevin Forrest, interim director of the Manchester VA.

“Veterans and providers alike have reported success and value the opportunity to eliminate the risk of unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus,” Forrest said.

Vt. asks nursing homes to screen workers daily

The Vermont Health Department is urging the state’s long-term care facilities to take the temperature of all staff members before they enter the buildings where they work.

Workers who are showing any signs of being ill are being told to stay home.

The moves are part of the state’s effort to stop the spread of the new coronavirus in long-term care facilities. More than 10 cases of COVID-19 were reported at the Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center. One patient at the facility died of COVID-19.

“This is perhaps the most complex public health event most Vermonters have experienced,” Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said in a statement. “And I can’t repeat this enough: It is extremely important for all of us, young and old, to take extra care to help protect the people most vulnerable to serious illness — older Vermonters and people with chronic illnesses or who have impaired immunity.”

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.

On Sunday, the health department reported the number of cases of COVID-19 in Vermont jumped by three cases. Two Vermont COVID-19 patients have died, including the elderly woman from the Burlington center, and an elderly veteran from Windsor County.

Vt. newspapers cut back over coronavirus losses

Two Vermont newspapers are having to temporarily cut back operations and lay off staff because of the loss of advertising due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Steve Pappas, the publisher of the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, announced in the Herald Saturday the paper would cut back the number of print editions it publishes from five days a week to three, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

News will continue to be published on the papers’ websites.

Pappas said 20 employees across both newspapers are being laid off.

“Hopefully, after the health crisis has run its course over a few weeks, we will return to our regular Tuesday through Sunday publishing schedule,” Pappas wrote.

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