ST. ALBANS -- Northwestern Medical Center announced Saturday that two people tested at the St. Albans hospital for COVID-19 had positive results.
“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.
These are the first known cases in the community, which is why NMC said it announced the results.
“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 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.”