10 takeaways from coronavirus press conference today

By Guy Page

Here are 10 takeaways from the coronavirus press conference Governor Scott and his administration held in Montpelier today:

  1. There are no known active coronavirus cases in Vermont. Twenty Vermonters have completed the two-week screening and have tested negative. One hundred fifty-six other Vermonters are being screened.
  1. Paper masks don’t help healthy people not get the virus, research shows. Paper masks do help sick people not spread the virus. So Vermonters – if you don’t have a mask, don’t panic that you can’t find any in the stores (and you can’t because many are made in China, which has mask production and priority issues of its own). “We have a stockpile in Vermont that we have released 50% of, and are reserving the other half,” Commissioner Mark Levine said.
  1. The Vermont Agency of Education has no plans to close schools – but it could, if necessary. For now, schools are being advised to practice good prevention: wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, etc.
  1. The Vermont Department of Health has no plans to enforce quarantine of ill or suspected ill Vermonters – but it could, if necessary. For now, people who are symptomatic (fever, dry cough) should stay home. All Vermonters should practice good prevention: wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze, etc. To date Vermonters have been very cooperative with voluntary 14-day quarantines, Levine said.
  1. At the Canadian border, non-U.S. citizens coming from China and Iran are being turned back, Gov. Scott said. He has been holding conversations with U.S. Border Patrol officials about stopping transmission at the Quebec border.
  1. There are no reports of nursing home workers calling out sick at a higher rate than usual, Health Dept. Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said. However, it’s flu season and employers should expect workers to call out at the usual rate. Nursing homes and all other health care providers have been issued safety guidelines. Vermont already faces a nursing home worker shortage and the elderly are the most susceptible to serious illness from Covid-19.
  1. The fatality rate for Covid-19 among people who have tested positive is about one percent. The fatality rate for the traditional flu is about .1 percent, state health officials said.
  1. Vermont hospitals have 80 “isolation rooms” for quarantine purposes. It also has “negative pressure” rooms that reduce the accident spread of airborne germs, but capacity would be saturated if Covid-19 spreads considerably in Vermont. However, negative pressure rooms exceed the necessary standard of care, Levine said.
  1. There is no charge to patients receiving the Covid-19 test, Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said. Medical costs in the event of widespread transmission are being worked out, he said.
  1. Don’t shake hands. “The custom of handshaking is probably going to fade away as a result of this crisis,” Levine said.Instead, some people are bumping elbows. Is the commissioner practicing what he preaches? Yes: “Since I started this job, every time I’ve seen the governor, we’ve shaken hands. We haven’t done that this week.” 

Read more of Guy Page’s reports.

Image courtesy of Guy Page

8 thoughts on “10 takeaways from coronavirus press conference today

  1. Yes this is good common sense. The confusion is coming from lack of understanding about the disease and that coronavirus is not new and is a common virus which includes the common cold – it’s Covid-19 thats the newest strain:
    – What is coronavirus
    Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses and can cause illness ranging from the common cold to diseases such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. It first originated in Wuhan, China. While the coronavirus is said to be zoonotic in nature i.e. they jump from animals to humans but this CoV19 is spreading from person to person as well.

    – What differentiates coronavirus with the swine flu

    According to the World Health Organization, it is too early to make conclusive statements about the mortality rate of the COVID-19 and there are no clear reports indicating how dangerous coronavirus is. The public health officials are working round the clock to identify the source of this disease and they believe that symptoms can show up anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure.

    Some of the symptoms of the COVID-19 include:
    3.Shortness of breath
    5.Runny nose
    6.Sore throat

    Huh. Sounds like the good-old cold or flu which cause great discomfort and also death? Mass hysteria is being caused by constant reporting of each case found and each person who succumbs – and the new # of cases worldwide and in every nook and cranny of the US. If we quarantined each cold or flu case and did this w/every communicable disease we would have the same varied reporting results. Covid19 is just the newest form of coronavirus which began in 2019 but is being greatly hyped.

  2. “If this is so, why are they required for health care workers? Many of them also wear face shields”….

    The face shields would work against air born droplets the mask do nothing except provide a excellent breeding ground for the germs.. probably more
    for the looking like your safe then making you safe…also if you have the virus
    the mask would help in NOT spreading it…

    • kinda like a spit guard at that salad bar? So you don’t spit into the patient while your operating?

      • Yes Neil I suppose it works both ways… hehee

        They started wearing them when aids virus first raised awareness of dangerous contact fluids..

  3. “Paper masks don’t help healthy people…”
    If this is so, why are they required for health care workers? Many of them also wear face shields, along with gowns and rubber gloves. If it isn’t airborne transmittable, then how do many people onboard ships get it while quarantined in their cabins, supplied with recirculated ventilation?
    What will protect an individual who is in the cough zone of an infected person who hasn’t yet produced symptoms? A face mask. Covid-19 doesn’t send out leaflets preceding it’s arrival in our communities, or any other warnings. When people show up sick, that means it’s been around for a couple of weeks. A period of time that the sick has already exposed many others to the virus.
    The nation along with VT aren’t being truly proactive. They’re putting on a good show but but it won’t win an Oscar if Covid-19 rears its ugly head in VT. There’s already been one fool in NH, at the Dartmouth Medical Center, who tested positive and was told to quarantine at home and not go out in public. That evening he went to a function with other medical center employees, in VT. Do you doubt that he infected others including people who live in VT?

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