On March 15, 2020

Vermont Coronavirus cases increase to 5; Ludlow schools close; ski areas shut down

By Anne Galloway/VTDigger and Polly Mikula

On Saturday, March 14, the Vermont Department of Health announced three new presumptive cases of coronavirus in Springfield, Central Vermont, and the White River Junction VA Medical Center.

The new cases bring the total to five in Vermont — four presumptive positive cases as well as one that has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The White River Junction VA Medical Center patient is a 90-year-old veteran from Windsor County. The Springfield patient is a second homeowner in his 50s from Westchester County and the third is also a 50-something man who has recently traveled.

Three major ski companies also announced they are immediately suspending operations in Vermont. Alterra, which owns Sugarbush Resort and Stratton Mountain Resort, announced that the two ski areas would be closed for the season, while Vail Resorts put Okemo Mountain Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort and Mount Snow on an 8-day hiatus, then Killington and Pico follow suit suspending operations also until March 22, one day after reporting that they’d canceled events but were planning to stay open.

The Vermont State Police announced that in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, troopers will be taking new precautions as they investigate cases. Minor crashes and vandalism incidents may be reported by phone. Officials say more serious crimes will still involve on-site probes.

Ludlow are schools close

Ludlow is closing area schools after a local person tested positive for coronavirus. Black River High School Middle School, Cavendish Town Elementary School, Chester-Andover Elementary School, Green Mountain Union School, Ludlow Elementary School and Mount Holly School will be closed until further notice.

The decision to close the schools in the southern Vermont district came as Health Commissioner Mark Levine told lawmakers that, with hundreds of COVID-19 test results coming in, this is a “key weekend” for gathering data needed to determine when to close K-12 schools across the state.

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