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Health commissioner calls UVM’s COVID testing plan strict

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Burlington's mayor has raised questions about the University of Vermont's plan to test returning students, but Vermont's health commissioner says the plan was developed in consultation with the health department and he calls the requirements strict.

UVM is preparing for students to return to campus as soon as next week for the fall semester, but long before they start classes, students will be taking plenty of tests.

UVM rolled out a COVID-19 testing program that includes a test before a student returns to campus, another test when they get there and then weekly tests, at least through mid-September.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger sent a letter to UVM President Suresh Garimella expressing concerns about the school's testing and isolation requirements, its plans for getting off-campus students to comply and a lack of consequences for students who violate safety protocols.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine says UVM developed the plan in consultation with the health department and he calls the requirements strict.

“So there are certainly going to be consequences for not adhering to the testing protocol that should protect the city, and just having the testing protocol and having a partnership with the health department to make sure we manage any positive tests that come out of that should be comforting to the city as well,” Levine said.

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