Northwestern Medical Center (NMC) has been notified by the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory that two individuals who had been tested for the COVID-19 virus through NMC’s processes have had positive tests.
“In recent weeks, NMC has been preparing for the eventuality that there would be cases of COVID-19 in our community,” said Dr. John Minadeo, NMC’s Chief Medical & Quality Officer. “Important steps have been taken to reduce possibilities of exposure within the facility and properly care for patients who may have this virus. Our preparations and processes have served us well.”
NMC has repurposed a decommissioned patient care unit into a dedicated inpatient COVID-19 Response Unit and admissions to that unit have begun. As per Vermont Department of Health guidelines, patients who test positive but who do not require hospital admission will be directed to self-quarantine at home.
As these are our first known positive cases in our community, we are providing you this information. Out of respect for patient privacy, no further patient information on these cases will be shared at this time.
“While NMC is well prepared for a first wave of COVID-19 positive patients, we are naturally concerned about the possibility of large volumes of patients arriving in short time frames, so we greatly appreciate community efforts to flatten the curve such as social distancing,” said Dr. Minadeo. “We encourage everyone to take the simple steps of washing their hands, coughing into their elbows, and staying home if you are sick.”
For more information on COVID-19, please call 2-1-1 or visit the Vermont Department of Health website at https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus. The Vermont Department of Health guidelines state, “If you are sick or concerned about your health, contact your health care provider by phone. Not everybody needs to be tested. Do not call the Health Department. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.”