KEY POINTS

  • Governor Phil Scott announced the deaths Thursday night in a press conference
  • One of the dead was a man from Windsor County, whilst the other was a female inmate of Burlington Health and Rehab long-term care facility in Burlington
  • Health Commissioner Mark Levine described both the persons as “very elderly”

Two Vermont residents who tested positive for the novel coronavirus died Thursday.

“With this sad news, I know Vermonters across the state join me in sending our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of these two Vermonters during this difficult time,” Governor Phil Scott announced Thursday night in a news conference, according to WCAX 3. “I know some are feeling scared, worried and overwhelmed, but I want you all to know that we will get through this because we’re all in this together.”

One of the dead was a man from Windsor County who was hospitalized at the White River Junction VA Medical Center. The other was a woman, who was an inmate of Burlington Health and Rehab long-term care facility in Burlington, according to the state health department.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine described both the persons as “very elderly,” adding that neither of them contracted the disease from traveling.

“These deaths — and I hope we will experience no more — highlight how extremely important it is for all of us, young and old, to take extra care to protect those most vulnerable to serious illness,” Levine said.

Scott said the state was stepping up measures to handle a potential “worst-case scenario.”

He said he will hold another press conference Friday to provide more details regarding the state’s response to the viral pandemic.

The Burlington Health and Rehab inmate tested positive for the disease on Tuesday, Seven Days reported. It was not immediately known when the other person was tested positive for the disease.

The United States has reported at least 14,250 positive cases as of Friday, with 205 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins website. At least 22 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Vermont as of Thursday afternoon.

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