Story at a glance
- “This should be the model for the country,” Fauci said of Vermont’s response to the outbreak.
- Fauci applauded residents in the state for adhering to public health guidelines such as wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding crowds.
- The Green Mountain State has recorded a total of 1,705 cases with 58 deaths.
As the United States continues to struggle with the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 6.6 million Americans and left nearly 200,000 dead, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert is praising one state for how well it’s handled the pandemic.
Vermont currently has the lowest number of cases per capita in the U.S. and the lowest positivity rate — about two-tenths of a percent. The Green Mountain State has recorded a total of 1,705 cases with 58 deaths, according to state data.
As of Thursday, there were only three patients hospitalized in the state for the virus, and Vermont’s last reported coronavirus death occurred on July 28.
“This should be the model for the country — how you’ve done it,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a news briefing convened this week by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) Tuesday.
“Notwithstanding that this is a small state, but it should be the model of how you get to such a low test positivity that you can actually start opening up the economy in a safe and prudent way,” Fauci said.
Fauci applauded residents in the state for adhering to public health guidelines such as wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding crowds, citing their willingness to follow the safety measures as a key factor in Vermont’s success.
But as Vermont continues to make progress, Fauci warned residents there now is not the time to let their guard down.
“It's going to be challenging as you get into the fall and the winter, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to have a problem if you do the kind of prudent public health measures that you've been doing,” he said.
Mark Levine, who serves as Vermont’s state health commissioner, said the state also focused on contact tracing and testing efforts early on in the outbreak and acted quickly to implement social distancing measures and reduce the size of mass gatherings, according to ABC News. He also said Vermonters overall tend to be relatively healthy.
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