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Is Vermont doing enough coronavirus testing?

(WCAX)
Published: Mar. 17, 2020 at 6:06 PM EDT
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We are working to get you answers about coronavirus testing in Vermont. How much is being done and is it enough? Our Cat Viglienzoni was at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction on Tuesday to learn more.

The University of Vermont Medical Center says 55 people were tested at that pop-up testing site on Tuesday. That's in addition to the 21 they tested on Monday.

The goal of this site is to streamline testing and keep people from overwhelming emergency rooms and inadvertently spreading the virus to others when they enter the hospital.

And a reminder: you do need a doctor's referral to get a test at this site. You cannot just drive up and get a test. They will not take anyone without a referral.

As of Tuesday evening, the latest numbers from the Vermont Health Department are that 10 Vermonters have tested positive for the virus and 495 tested negative. Monday we told you 12 people tested positive-- that was eight Vermonters and four people from out of state. But now, the Health Department is only counting Vermonters. So, we're up to 10.

As for how many Vermonters have been administered a test so far, that's unclear.

Tuesday afternoon, Cat was able to talk to a Shelburne man via FaceTime. Jordan Royer told us he is one of the 10 who has the virus. He found out this past weekend. Now, he, his wife and their four children are in quarantine.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: I know the health department has been doing some contact tracing. How did they do that with you? What were the procedures? How did they go about finding out who you might have had close contact with?

Jordan Royer: Yeah, so the first two days I'm on the phone with the health department just kind of laying out people and places that I'd been and different types of contact that I'd had with people. And then they took it from there as far as assessing the different risks to each of those individuals I had been in contact with.

Cat Viglienzoni: Has there been a lack of clarity to you on testing and when you can re-enter society?

Jordan Royer: Yeah, I think probably everything is new for everyone, so probably a little bit. But I also know I have at least 14 days here, so I also haven't pushed the topic because I have nothing but time at this point in quarantine. So as we get closer to what I think is my 14 days, I will try to get some clarity on what type of protocol I need to go through to go back into society.

Cat Viglienzoni: Do you know where you got the virus from?

Jordan Royer: I do not know where I got it from.

Royer said he can't speak to whether Vermont is doing enough testing.

He says his symptoms were mild and if he hadn't gotten tested, he might not have known he had it. So he's glad he did.

Tuesday afternoon, the UVM Medical Center also said it is working to suspend elective procedures. That will allow them to minimize potential risk to patients of exposure to the virus and also to conserve equipment that might be needed down the line.

The health department said that they are working on getting answers for us to the question of whether we are doing enough testing. We will update you when we hear more.

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