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Health Dept. investigates Windham County COVID cluster

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BRATTLEBORO — The Vermont Department of Health is continuing to investigate and respond to a small cluster of COVID-19 cases in Windham County.

According to a press release from DOH, the cases are currently limited to a small number of people with familial connections.

"There does not appear to be additional community spread associated with this situation," states the press release.

Deputy State Epidemiologist Laura Ann Nicolai stated no additional details will be provided about those infected to protect their privacy.

"We do want people to know that, as we do in all cases, we are identifying and contacting those at risk, facilitating testing, and providing guidance for isolation or quarantine as appropriate," she stated in the press release.

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Nicolai told the Reformer that a cluster has to have more than six verified cases before the state will issue an actual count of those infected. At this time, the Department of Health is not issuing a count.

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During Gov. Phil Scott's regular press conference to discuss COVID-19, Mark Levine, the commissioner of DOH said the infections involved two adults and four children.

Nicolai said on Sunday seven people came in for testing. Those seven people were identified as possible contacts of infected people, she said.

Because COVID-19 spreads easily from person-to-person, these types of investigations are becoming more common — especially as more sectors of the economy open back up, and more people are getting together with family and friends and others in their communities.

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"We've seen that COVID-19 cases can crop up anywhere, that's the nature of this virus," stated Laura Overton, director of the department's Brattleboro Local Health Office. "But if we work together, we can protect one another within our community."

The Department of Health is encouraging all people to continue to follow the four rules of thumb to protect themselves and prevent spread of the virus: wear face coverings, keep a six-foot distance from others, wash hands frequently, and stay home when sick.

The Brattleboro Local Health Office held a testing clinic Sunday and will continue testing at a clinic on Wednesday. People who have been contacted by the Health Department do not need an appointment.

Anyone interested in getting tested at one of the pop-up sites across the state can sign up for an upcoming appointment by visiting https://humanresources.vermont.gov/popups.


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