Vermont Gov. Phil Scott urged residents Tuesday not to let their guard down despite the state's recent success in keeping the coronavirus in check.
"We continue to do well here in Vermont, and we're not seeing the jump in cases we thought we would at this point," he said. But he said other parts of the country and even Canada to the north are starting to see some upticks.
"I really need Vermonters to know how important it is to not become complacent," Scott said at his twice weekly coronavirus briefing. "With the positive trend we've had for months, it can be easy to let your guard down. The safety measures we have in place are there for a reason, and they're working. But if we let up and get more relaxed, all the hard work we've done can slip away as well."
He said some states like Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming have shown what can happen when residents stop wearing masks and practicing social distancing and good hygiene.
"We've put ourselves in a great position," Scott said. "We don't want to move backwards. But the future is really in our hands."
MIchael Pieciak, Vermont's commissioner of financial regulation, said all of the state's coronavirus metrics continue to be favorable. He said the 51 cases over the last two weeks represent the lowest two week period since late May, even as colleges and K-12 schools reopened. And the state hasn't reported a COVID-19 death in the last two months.
But he said the last time Vermont had a similar stretch, it was followed by the largest outbreak the state had seen during the pandemic.
"Even though the case counts are low, that can change quickly -- even in places like Vermont," Pieciak said.
On Tuesday, the Vermont Department of Health reported four new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19. The statewide total since the pandemic began is now at 1,749. The number of fatalities remains at 58.