Positive COVID-19 Test in Addison County
| by David Provost and Mark Peluso
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Today, Porter Medical Center announced that an individual in Addison County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. It is our understanding that the individual was tested by Porter’s drive-through service after being screened via telemedicine. The patient is receiving care, following CDC guidelines, and self-isolating at home. We ask all community members to respect the individual’s privacy and avoid speculation and rumor as to their identity.
The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) is following its protocols and monitoring the situation.
Middlebury College has been anticipating this event and preparing for it. You have been hearing from us with new information on an almost daily basis, and we so appreciate your reading emails carefully. This morning we find ourselves in a new moment—one that requires a new pattern of working together. We will be in touch with more information about the workplace in a separate email later today.
In these situations, the Health Department responds quickly to identify and notify people who could be at risk of exposure to this case. Those who might be at risk will be directed to call their healthcare provider to assess their condition and undergo testing, if necessary. In some cases, individuals who may have been exposed are asked to self-isolate at home for up to 14 days.
- If Middlebury students currently on campus are informed or concerned that they may have been exposed, they should call the Parton Center for Health and Wellness. Call the Registered Nurse Triage Line (802-443-3290) or the main business line (802-443-5135).
- Faculty and staff who are informed or concerned that they may have been exposed should call their personal healthcare provider.
If you are currently experiencing symptoms of cold and flu, it is reasonable for you to call your provider to discuss next steps. It is always best to phone them first. Healthcare workers will be busy helping those who have been identified by the Health Department as having had a direct contact with the individual in this case. We ask that you please give them time to do their work.
If you are feeling well and have not been notified that you have been considered exposed, please refrain from calling your healthcare provider and let them help others who may have been exposed.
We and our partners in the medical community encourage you to stay calm and to call your healthcare provider if the Health Department notifies you that you may have been exposed. It is normal to experience anxiety about being exposed, and the possibility of exposing loved ones, friends, and co-workers.
We urge everyone to take the precautions recommended by the CDC to protect yourselves and prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- Additional guidance for prevention can be found on the CDC website.
We recognize that the impact of COVID-19 is not just physical, and we want to make sure that everyone is aware of Middlebury’s support services.
Students can contact the counseling staff at Parton Health Center at 802-443-5141.
Students, faculty, and staff may contact the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life at 802-443-5626.
Any employee who would like additional assistance may contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program at 800-828-6025.
We will continue to post updates to Middlebury’s coronavirus page and related FAQs and resources.
EVP for Finance and Administration
Director of Health Services