Doctor warns new COVID strain likely already in Vermont

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 6:21 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 6:01 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - UVM Medical Center President Dr. Stephen Leffler says Vermonters should expect that the new, more contagious strain of coronavirus is already in the state.

In the city of Burlington’s first press conference of 2021, Leffler told Vermonters not to be surprised if the first case of the new strain is confirmed within the next five to 10 days.

He reassured the public that the new strain is not more deadly but it has the power to infect more people after exposure.

“But the old version, let’s say you would infect only two other people. Chances are both of those people will recover as well. Let’s say the new version, you infected ten other people. One of those people could actually end up dying, right? So that’s the problem,” Leffler said.

The doctor says the UVM Medical Center’s health care team will be vaccinated next week and community vaccination should start in about a month.

He says they’re working with the state to figure out how many doses of the vaccine Vermont will get each week.

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