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Virus outbreak linked to hockey rink grows to 30 cases

The Associated Press
Published: 10/19/2020 11:24:59 PM
Modified: 10/19/2020 11:24:57 PM

MONTPELIER — The outbreak of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 traced to a Montpelier hockey rink has expanded to 30, the Vermont Health Department said Monday.

The cases are linked to adult and youth hockey leagues and an adult broomball league at the Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center.

The Health Department is planning a pop-up testing clinic Thursday at the Barre Auditorium. Testing is for people who are not showing any symptoms of COVID-19, but had direct links to the teams and their close contacts.

The Central Vermont Medical Center will also be holding special testing clinics from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday at its Acute Respiratory Clinic on the Barre-Montpelier Road.

New Hampshire cases on the rise

As of Monday, 9,746 people had tested positive for the virus in NH, an increase of several dozen cases compared with the previous day. One new death was announced, bringing the total to 468.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 68 new cases per day on Oct. 4 to 86 new cases per day on Oct. 18.

The Vermont Health Department reported nine new cases of the virus on Monday, bringing the statewide total to just under 1,950.

Of the new cases, three were in Chittenden County, two in Orange and Washington counties, and one each in Orleans and Windsor counties.

There are currently no patients hospitalized in Vermont who have COVID-19 or are suspected of having it. The number of deaths in the state remains at 58, where it has been for more than two months.

No new cases found in Vt. inmates

The Vermont Department of Corrections say the third round of testing of more than 2,000 inmates and staff at the state’s prisons found no positive cases.

The tests included the six state-run facilities and the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Miss., which is holding just over 200 Vermont inmates.

The state began its fourth round of testing on Monday at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans.

“I’m deeply appreciative of the effort and hard work of Vermont DOC staff in keeping our facilities clean,” Vermont Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker said in a statement. “This is not a time to let our guard down. Our approach of ‘testing to suppress’ is saving lives.”

Outdoor rescues surgeduring pandemic

Vermont outdoor search and rescue teams are seeing more calls for services, and experts are attributing the increase to more people getting outdoors during pandemic, officials said.

“The numbers for missions are up this year,” said Vermont Search and Rescue Coordinator Neil Van Dyke, who is with the Vermont Department of Public Safety.

And the increase in calls means the rescue personnel are having to do more to protect themselves from becoming infected with the coronavirus. In addition to using personal protective equipment, search and rescue teams have had to do additional sanitizing, cleaning, and, when possible, maintain social distance.

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