Watch Live: Scott to provide COVID-19 update – WCAX

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) – Vermont Governor Phil Scott Tuesday said despite the state leading the country with the lowest percentage of COVID-19 cases, he remains increasingly concerned about the rapid growth of the virus across most of the country.

“In looking across the country, we continue to see a forest fire spreading in the south and west and things could shift back towards us so we have keep our guard up,” Scott said.

The governor says the latest data shows Vermont stands alone in the country when it comes to controlling spread of the virus. Vermont has seen no deaths in more than a month and only three people were admitted to the hospital as of Monday. But based on the growth of the virus around the country, Scott said the state must be prepared to react. He says that means he will hold the spigot on occupancy rates at 50% for now.

Scott says Vermont data still does not support a facial covering mandate, but that could change. “With the numbers that we see in Vermont, particularly in our most rural areas, the data hasn’t yet supported a change to the status quo,” said Scott, who said he would have more information on Friday.

Vermont Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine says there are currently no outbreaks in the state they are aware of although health officials continue to investigate a number of false positive antigen rapid tests in the Manchester area. The health department says 65 people had tested positive using the rapid antigen at the Manchester Medical Center. But after the more reliable PCR testing, only four have so far been confirmed. In southern Vermont, more than 1,613 people have been tested at a variety of sites and only five were positive.

As of Tuesday, Vermont health officials reported 1,366 coronavirus cases in the state and 56 deaths. A total of 84,947 tests have been conducted, 1,152 travelers are being monitored, 4,361 have completed monitoring and 1,148 have recovered.

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