Coronavirus Statement from the Rochester Select Board
from Rob Gardner via Front Porch Forum
Town of Rochester COVID-19 Mitigation Effort
In response to widespread news coverage of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Rochester Select Board is notifying residents of prudent actions to mitigate community spread of the virus. We are in in touch with Gifford Medical Center (GMC), the White River Valley Ambulance (WRVA) service, as well as the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) and have established a local task force to coordinate town efforts, particularly as this issue relates to our older residents. For regular updates, check Front Porch Forum, the Town Website, and the Rochester Stockbridge Unified District Community Facebook page.
Rochester is a tourist destination. Interstate travel on VT Routes 100, 73, and 125, combined with a number of Air B&B’s, local shops, and restaurants regularly bring a significant number of out-of-state visitors to our town. The virus incubation period can be up to 2 weeks before experiencing symptoms; therefore people carrying the virus can unknowingly expose others.
It is widely reported that elders are most vulnerable to the coronavirus, and those with pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease and a compromised respiratory system. Special care should be taken not to expose this population.
We suggest that any non-essential public events be cancelled, avoided, or postponed for 30 days. Anyone developing cold or flu symptoms should self-quarantine at home for 2 weeks in order to avoid the possibility of spreading the virus throughout the community. It is advisable to stock 2 weeks of food staples and prescription medications, in the event of self-quarantine due to illness.
A volunteer network is being organized to help deliver groceries or medications to quarantined people at home. If you are interested in volunteering for this effort, please contact the town clerk.
Symptoms: Please be conscious of any flu-like symptoms, including:
Difficulty breathing, lung congestion—lung congestion is the most serious symptom
Recommendations from the Federal Government’s CDC (Center for Disease Control): There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be worn by people with symptoms of COVID-19, to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is crucial for health workers and people caring for someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Should it be determined that you need testing, the US Government has released the following assurance that Medicare will cover the cost of testing:
Medicare Part B health insurance covers a test to see if you have Coronavirus. The cost of this test is covered when your doctor or a health care provider orders it, if you get the test on or after February 4, 2020. You usually pay nothing for Medicare-covered clinical diagnostic laboratory tests.
Important phone numbers:
Rochester Town Office: 802-767-3631
Rochester/Gifford Clinic: 802-767-3704
Gifford Medical Center: 802-728-4441
White River Valley Ambulance: 802-234-6800
Home Health Agency referrals are made through your primary care doctor
Central VT Medical Center 802-371-4100
Rutland Regional Medical Center: 802-775-7111
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center: 603-650-5000