Vermont Coronavirus Cases Continue to Plateau

Gov. Phil Scott is highlighting non-governmental organizations that have supported the state's response to the coronavirus as the number of new cases slow.

Vermont officials are seeing a plateau in the number of coronavirus cases, with under five percent of tests coming back positive each day, officials said.

As of Wednesday, the state had reported 752 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, including 29 fatal cases.

"There’s clearly a tendency towards a plateauing," Health Commissioner Mark Levine said in a press conference.

"Encouraging signs, to say the least, that all our actions are having some benefit here in Vermont," Gov. Phil Scott added.

Scott highlighted non-governmental organizations that have been "critical" in the state's response to the coronavirus, he said, including Burton Snowboards and the University of Vermont.

Scott noted the potential plateau in coronavirus cases Monday, but continued to urge residents to stay at home.

Vermont's stay-at-home order is in effect amid the coronavirus outbreak, and businesses that remain open are making big changes.

Levine announced a working group of health officials looking into serologic testing Monday, which involves testing blood for antibodies to the coronavirus. The group is expected to issue a recommendation on that Thursday as a way to determine whether someone may have had the illness but were asymptomatic.

"As we look into future, we need to have robust data on the spread rate of exposure," Levine said Wednesday. "Hopefully the serology testing will prove out, but it won’t be an end totally to social distancing, it won’t be an end to limitations on large gatherings, it won't be an end, perhaps, to facial coverings or all the public hygiene things we talk about all the time."

Levine continues to urge people to wear masks in public, warning that failure to do so puts them at "extreme risk" of contracting or spreading the disease in a pre-symptomatic phase.

On Friday, Scott extended Vermont's state of emergency status until May 15. It had been set to expire on April 15. The state of emergency includes the Vermont's stay-at-home order. Schools remain closed through the end of the school year.

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