Number of COVID-19 cases in Addison County rises to eight

*Update: On Tuesday the number of Addison County cases rose to 8, according to the state Department of Health.*
MIDDLEBURY — The state Department of Health announced on Monday, March 23, that a total of 75 Vermonters have tested positive for the coronavirus, including six individuals in Addison County.
The number of Addison County cases has surged from one to six since late last week. Statewide, Chittenden County has the most confirmed cases, with 32, according to the DOH. Windsor County is second, with 12, followed by Addison County. Essex and Grand Isle Counties were alone in not having any confirmed COVID-19 cases, DOH officials reported.
Five Vermonters have thus far died from the coronavirus, DOH officials said on Monday afternoon.
Medical authorities are barred from providing detailed information about patients. But Porter Medical Center spokesman Ron Hallman was able to say that one COVID-19 positive patient was being cared for at Porter Hospital on Monday.
A March 22 email update from Porter Medical Center leaders to staff confirmed the one coronavirus-related hospital admission and acknowledged additional patients visited the Emergency Department during the weekend.
“We continue to actively plan for the days ahead, when we anticipate there will be more COVID-positive members of our community that will need hospital-based care,” the email stated.
One of the newest Addison County cases, revealed on March 20, was described as man in his 70s, who didn’t require hospitalization.
Addison County residents, like all Vermonters, are being asked to keep at least 6 feet away from each other. Gov. Phil Scott has ordered bars and restaurants closed, though take-out and deliveries can continue. He’s restricted the size of “mass gatherings” to 10 or fewer people, and ordered all “close-contact” businesses — like gyms and hair salons — closed on March 23.
As previously reported by the Independent, Porter Hospital, Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing and area retirement communities have imposed stringent visitation policies. Elderly Services Inc. has closed its Project Independence adult day care service, and all Vermont’s public schools have been closed since March 18.

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