Dr. Mark Levine, 8-14-2020

Vermont health commissioner Dr. Mark Levine updates reporters on COVID-19-related activity in Vermont during an Aug. 14 press conference.

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Dept. of Health is advising those who attended a Halloween party in Milton on Oct. 31 or bowled at the Spare Time in Colchester on Nov. 4 and 5 to get tested for COVID-19.

Health officials said contact tracers have been unsuccessful at getting all the information they need about people who attended the Halloween party in Milton, as well as a second party in Marshfield.

The instruction to get tested comes as 109 Vermonters tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, following 72 positive tests on Wednesday, a record that was immediately broken.

With the number of positive cases in Vermont rising, so is the risk, according to Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.

Many of the new cases can be traced to Vermonters traveling out of state. All non-essential trips outside of Vermont’s borders now require a 14-day quarantine upon returning. Visitors must also quarantine for 14 days.

The other major source of new cases is small social gatherings at which people are not wearing masks or keeping physically distant, including baby showers, Halloween parties and deer camps, according to the health department.

The state’s ability to contain the spread of the COVID-19 relies heavily on the cooperation of Vermonters who have tested positive and their close contacts, said Levine. “But when the contact tracing team is not getting the information it needs, then people who may have been exposed to the virus and don’t know it might be unintentionally transmitting it to others. That’s how an outbreak starts,” he said.

Left unchecked, single cases lead to community spread, which leads to outbreaks, illness, hospitalizations and deaths. It’s essential that each person takes precautions to avoid exposure and do everything they can to prevent spread to others, health officials said.

Levine urged anyone who gets a call from the Health Department to please answer and provide all the information requested. “We need everyone’s help to do our job. And that job is to protect the health of all Vermonters.”

The best way to stay healthy and prevent the spread of virus is to follow the core prevention actions: Masks on faces, 6-foot spaces, Uncrowded places.

To find a testing site and information to prevent spread of COVID-19, go to https://healthvermont.gov/covid19.

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