Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
July 16, 2020
Investigation of positive antigen test results in Manchester
Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD and Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith held a media briefing Thursday to provide an update on reports of positive COVID-19 antigen tests at a clinic in Manchester.
Currently, more than 50 people have tested positive through antigen testing performed at the health center. Antigen tests are a newer type of test that provide results much more quickly than PCR tests (the most common type of test used to diagnose COVID-19 infection). They are intended as screening tools for people who have symptoms and need to be confirmed with a more accurate PCR test, Dr. Levine explained.
The department’s epidemiology team is treating these positive tests as “presumptive positives.” This means we take all the same actions as a confirmed positive case, including reaching out to the person to provide guidance on staying home (self-isolating). We also conduct contact tracing, to provide those individuals guidance to quarantine and to recommend testing as appropriate.
In addition, each person who, by antigen testing is a presumptive positive case, is being advised that they get a PCR test to confirm the result.
So far, the Health Department has received PCR results on 10% of the 59 people who had a positive antigen test. Of those, 2/3 tested negative by PCR and only 1/3 tested positive.
Dr. Levine said epidemiologists are trying to determine what these results mean, and noting that, “One explanation may be that many of the people who were tested at Manchester Medical did not have symptoms.”
“CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratory guidelines do not recommend antigen testing for people without symptoms,” Dr. Levine said.
Studies on antigen tests have only been done on people with symptoms. We don’t have evidence about the accuracy of the antigen test on people without symptoms.
The antigen test results are not reflected in the total case data we report. However, once results are confirmed, they will appear in the data reports.
Anyone we identify through our investigation who should be tested will be referred to testing sites in the area.
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please contact your health care provider to see if you should be tested.
Pop-up testing is available in the Manchester area:
- Southwestern Vermont Health Care is holding pop-up testing at Riley Rink on 410 Hunter Park Road in Manchester today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will remain open as many days as necessary. Get more details here.
“We are still working to learn more about the situation,” Dr. Levine said. “We don’t have enough information yet to connect possible cases or call this an outbreak. Of course, we’ll continue to provide the public with the information they need to be safe and to prevent further spread of the virus.”
Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont
As of 12 p.m. on July 16, 2020
|Hospitalized under investigation||20|
|Total people recovered||1,111|
|People completed monitoring||3,644|
* Includes testing conducted at the Health Department Laboratory, commercial labs and other public health labs.
+ Death occurring in persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending.
Hospitalization data is provided by the Vermont Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition and is based on hospitals updating this information.
Find more at the data dashboard: healthvermont.gov/currentactivity.
Get Tested for COVID-19
People who want to be tested can contact their health care provider for a referral.
For people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, pop-up sites for testing are currently scheduled through July. The sites operate from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
We support Vermonters engaging in peaceful protests and other civic activities to make their voices heard.
Large gatherings pose a greater risk for virus exposure. So, wear a mask when near others, maintain a 6-foot distance, and if you’re sick, find actions to make yourself heard from home.
We encourage anyone who is participating in a public action to get tested for COVID-19. Learn more about how to get tested.
Guidance for Vermonters
If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.
If you are having even mild symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider.
Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask when near others.
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions.
Get the latest info about travel to Vermont, including about quarantine requirements, testing, and to sign up with Sara Alert for symptom check reminders.
Take Care of Your Emotional and Mental Health
If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support, help is available 24/7:
- Call your local mental health crisis line
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- Text VT to 741741 to talk with someone at the Crisis Text Line.
- For more information visit healthvermont.gov/suicide.
- See ways for Coping with Stress.
For more information:
- COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data: healthvermont.gov/covid19.
- Governor’s actions: governor.vermont.gov/covid19response.
- The state’s modeling: dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.