Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Staff Writer

Dr. Fauci: Vermont ‘Should be the Model of the Country’
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, joined Governor Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, at a press conference Tuesday, praising Vermont’s successes in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Appearing by video, Dr. Fauci said he has been working hard to communicate to the nation about how to open up the economy, get our children back to school and get people back to work in a safe, prudent, measured way.
“There were certain parameters that would make that easy. And I was sitting here listening to the numbers that (Gov. Scott) said, and I would wonder if I could bottle that and take it with me when I go around talking to other parts of the country,” Dr. Fauci said.
“I believe strongly that if we do what you’ve been doing in Vermont in the rest of the country… that we cannot only get through the fall and the winter, but we can come out on the other end better off then we went in,” he said.
Dr. Fauci answered questions from reporters, and from Dr. Levine, who asked Dr. Fauci to explain to Vermonters the process to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and why they can trust it. Dr. Fauci explained the multiple layers of checkpoints, including an independent data and safety monitoring board, a safety pledge by the Food and Drug Administration, and the scientific community, that is watching and “are not shy about giving our scientific opinions.”
“So I can tell you, based on my experience and what I’m seeing, if there’s a vaccine – which I’m fairly certain there will be – that’s safe and effective, I, for one, would not hesitate to take it, nor would I hesitate to recommend that my entire family do it,” Dr. Fauci said. “So I feel good about it.”
Health Department Working on First COVID-19 Cases Reported in Schools
Dr. Levine said Tuesday the Health Department was notified this week of a small number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with two schools in Vermont.
At this time, there are fewer than six confirmed cases associated with the two schools, Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury, and Hartford High School.
“While we obviously hoped to avoid cases once schools reopened, as we have said all along, this is not unexpected,” Dr. Levine said.
The department’s contact tracing team has been reaching out to close contacts, to provide the guidance they need, and to identify anyone who may need to quarantine.
As of this morning, 23 people had been identified as close contacts at Crossett Brook, and we have reached out to all of them. The investigation at Hartford is continuing, but thus far there have been no associated close contacts.
“This is a key part of protecting Vermonters and containing spread of the virus. And I again ask people that if you get a call from us, please answer the call,” Dr. Levine said.
In addition, Health Department and the Agency of Education are actively working on sharing school data in a manner that is both transparent and protects the privacy of individual students, teachers and staff. School level data will be made available in the coming days.
“As I have said before, this is the work of public health,” Dr. Levine said. “In any situation, especially involving our schools and our children, we will ensure everyone has the information they need, with the goal of keeping schools healthy and open.”
Case Information
Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont
As of 12 p.m. on September 15, 2020