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COVID-19 news of the day for Sunday: Vermont works to gain access to health care equipment

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/5/2020 5:51:38 PM
Modified: 4/5/2020 9:00:19 PM

Vermont health officials say they’re working with hospitals and the federal government to work through a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment and ventilators.

As of Saturday, the state has placed orders for more than 3.7 million items of PPE, primarily masks, from 10 vendors.

The state also purchased about 450 ventilators and requested 600 from federal stockpiles, according to a Sunday news release. About 50 already have started to arrive or are in transit.

There are 176 known critical care ventilators and 32 other ventilators in Vermont, the release said.

Overall, state officials say they’ve spent more than $20 million on PPE, ventilators and sterilization equipment.

New cases reported

Vermont and New Hampshire saw the number of new COVID-19 cases drop on Sunday, a day after both saw their highest single-day increase in the pandemic.

The Granite State saw 48 new cases, bringing its state total to 669, according to a news release.

The hardest-hit counties continue to be in the southern part of the state. Rockingham County saw 230 cases, while there were 101 cases in Manchester and 66 in Nashua, New Hampshire’s two largest cities.

In the Upper Valley, Grafton County reported 41 cases and Sullivan County saw six.

Meanwhile, Vermont reported an additional 51 cases, bringing its count to 512.

There was one new case in Windsor County where 22 people have tested positive. Four cases have been reported in Orange County.

Nine people have died in the Granite State while Vermont has reported 22 deaths.

Concord salon raising money for N95 masks

A downtown hair salon intends to distribute roughly 1,000 face masks to local hospitals and health centers after raising about $2,000 from supporters last week.

Salon K put out a call to Facebook followers Friday morning requesting money to help purchase protective equipment for local medical providers facing shortages.

At the time, the business said it intended to purchase a case of masks from manufacturers who also produce salon and spa equipment.

But enough donations came in to purchase four cases, which will arrive Tuesday. The Pleasant Street salon will then begin doling them out health care facilities — such as Concord and Eliot hospitals — as well as local nursing homes.

Kae Mason, who owns Salon K, said she expects another four cases to arrive later this week.

“We’re just trying to do our part,” Mason said Sunday. “We don’t have truckloads, we don’t have semis, but we’re doing whatever we can to help.”

Mason said she’s been overwhelmed by the donations, some of which came from families struggling under the economic downturn.

“People are stepping up and making some good-sized donations,” she said. “That just breaks my heart; that just warms me up.”

ClearChoiceMD to begin COVID-19 testing in Lebanon

ClearChoiceMD will start offering COVID-19 testing on Monday to high-risk patients at its Route 4 facility in Lebanon.

The urgent care company also is also offering testing at its Alton and Tilton, N.H. locations, according to its website.

Only high-risk patients will be recommended to test for the novel coronavirus because of a national shortage of testing supplies, the company said.

Low-risk patients who have mild symptoms and test negative for the flu will be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per federal health guidelines.

Tim Camerato can be reached at or 603-727-3223. Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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