Hundreds line up for coronavirus testing in southern Vermont – WCAX

LONDONDERRY, Vt. (WCAX) – A potential coronavirus outbreak in southern Vermont has hundreds of people wondering whether they have been infected. Our Olivia Lyons has been following the story. She was at two state-run pop-up testing sites Wednesday where people lined up for tests.

The testing site in Londonderry collected 306 specimens for testing. The second site in Manchester expected to test close to 600 on Wednesday.

“Quite a few people have come through because of recent news in the area,” said Megan Herrington of the Vermont Department of

There was a steady flow of traffic at both state-run pop-up testing sites in Londonderry and Manchester on Wednesday.

Annie Wright and Ronnie Black moved to the area from Virginia Tuesday. They were getting tested to make sure they aren’t bringing the virus to Vermont.

“Back in Richmond, we are starting to re-close. We reopened and now some places are closing back up and we’re getting a little bit more strict about it, so in a sense, we’re kind of coming here to a little more freedom,” Black said.

Many people wanted the diagnostic testing after learning dozens of people in the area recently were found positive for COVID-19 after what the state considers to be less-reliable rapid testing.

“We’ve also had people who are looking for confirmation following antigen testing. We also have people who are looking for their status just to keep their loved ones protected,” Herrington said.

By the end of Londonderry’s clinic, they had collected 306 specimens for testing.

As soon as a positive case comes in, contact tracers contact the person to discuss any possible symptoms, what prompted them to get the test, and then explore who they may have come into contact with and where. Every positive antigen test is being treated as a confirmed positive and contact tracing is being done with that individual.

“There are new individuals that have been reported today. They have been assigned out. We have expanded our team to really ensure that we can remind timely with our interviewing,” said Daniel Daltry, a contact tracer.

The Manchester location is in response to so many people saying they also want to get tested. By about 12:30 p.m., almost 200 tests had already been conducted.

“We’ll likely be doing this same clinic for several days until we get the community taken care of,” said Trey Dodson of the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.

Data has not been collected yet for the Manchester location, but Dodson says they expected to collect around 600 specimens on Wednesday.

Some people at the sites are concerned about the spread. Tom Simonetti of Manchester is being tested after potentially being exposed to people who have not been wearing masks.

“In my village in the last week or so, I’ve seen upwards of 50% in large gatherings and at times all of the occupants in convenience stores have not had masks on,” Simonetti said.

But others say they aren’t worried.

“No I am not because I know Manchester and they are doing the right things,” said James Sessions of Manchester.

The Department of has not yet told us how many more days they expect to be testing in Manchester but this is part of a potential outbreak investigation. With more testing and contact tracing, they hope to be able to determine where the outbreak originated and how widespread it is.

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