COVID-19

Health officials call on people who attended Halloween parties in Marshfield and Milton

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Increasing number of cases heighten the need for people to be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, cooperate with contact tracers when called, get tested and follow recommendations for preventing spread of the virus

BURLINGTON, VT – The Vermont Department of Health is urging anyone who participated in certain events in northern and central Vermont to get tested for COVID-19.

Health officials said contact tracers have been unsuccessful at getting all the information they need about people who attended two Halloween parties on October 31, one in Marshfield and the other in Milton. People who attended those parties should be tested for COVID-19. In addition, members of the bowling leagues that played at Spare Time in Colchester on November 4 and 5 should be tested. To find a testing site, go to healthvermont.gov/covid19.

The Health Department reported 72 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 109 cases today ─ the highest number reported since the start of the pandemic. Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD said that because case numbers are up, the risk to Vermonters is also significantly higher. In a news release issued on Wednesday, state officials said rising number of clusters and outbreaks often trace back to Vermonters traveling out of state, and to social gatherings like baby showers, Halloween parties, deer camps and other small gatherings where masking and physical distancing are not maintained.

The state’s ability to contain the spread of the COVID-19 relies heavily on the cooperation of Vermonters who have tested positive and their close contacts, said Dr. Levine. “But when the contact tracing team is not getting the information it needs, then people who may have been exposed to the virus and don’t know it might be unintentionally transmitting it to others. That’s how an outbreak starts,” Dr. Levine said.

Left unchecked, single cases lead to community spread, which leads to outbreaks, illness, hospitalizations and deaths. It’s essential that each person takes precautions to avoid exposure and do everything they can to prevent spread to others. Dr. Levine urged anyone who gets a call from the Health Department to please answer and provide all the information requested. “We need everyone’s help to do our job. And that job is to protect the health of all Vermonters.”

The best way to stay healthy and prevent the spread of virus is to follow the core prevention actions: Masks on faces, 6-foot spaces, Uncrowded places.

To find a testing site and information to prevent spread of COVID-19, go to https://healthvermont.gov/covid19.

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