Two Vermonters die of COVID-19

Vermont marked its first deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday.
Gov. Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine announced the two deaths during a press conference Thursday evening.
One was a Windsor County man in his 90s who had been hospitalized at the VA’’s medical center in White River Junction, Levine said. The second was a woman who lived at the Burlington Health & Rehab elderly care facility.
“Both were very elderly,” Levine said, adding that he hoped Vermont would not see more deaths.
Scott said it was a reminder about the importance of the precautions Vermont has put in place to stem the outbreak.
The announcement comes as 22 people have tested positive for the virus in Vermont. The department has conducted a total of 667 tests.
Scott said that the deaths are “sad for all of us” but “not unexpected news.”
“While we have always hoped there would be no deaths here in Vermont, we’re also very aware like other viruses, COVID-19 has the potential to cause serious illness, especially for the very ill or elderly,” he said.
Scott and Levine said they didn’t know whether the two COVID-19 patients had any preexisting conditions.  They did not provide specific information about the ages of the patients, and declined to say whether they required respirators while they were hospitalized.
Neither had traveled, according to Levine. The woman at Burlington Health & Rehab tested positive on Tuesday, and was hospitalized at the University of Vermont Medical Center.
Scott said it was a reminder about the importance of the precautions Vermont has put in place to stem the outbreak. “These deaths highlight how extremely important it is to protect those who are most vulnerable to serious illness,” Scott said.

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