Champlain Expo COVID surge site to remain on standby

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont currently has only one COVID overflow surge site and it’s currently on standby.

The four sites were created to assist overrun hospitals at the height of the pandemic. The Barre and St. Albans sites were closed early last summer and Rutland’s was packed away in late summer. The Champlain Valley Expo site was closed in the fall, but re-deployed in November when cases began increasing.

Vermont Deputy Public Safety Commissioner Christopher Herrick says the state does not anticipate re-deploying the other three sites. But if they need to be rebuilt, they were designed with rapid deployment in mind.

“That planning paid dividends. We were able to tear it down and rebuild as needed. But I think this time, we will be a bit more hesitant to tear down this time until we are sure we are out of the woods.” he said.

Herrick says there is no set measurement to determine when they will no longer need the remaining surge site. The non-COVID patient site of the Champlain Valley Expo site is being used to give vaccinations and has not had a COVID-positive patient since May of last year.

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