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The Checkup for July 15: 13 new COVID-19 cases reported in Vermont

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With this regular feature, the Banner runs down breaking local and regional developments in the coronavirus crisis.

The Vermont Department of Health reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Vermont on Wednesday, raising the cumulative total to 1,318.

Of this 13, Bennington County has 2 new cases; Addison County, 2; Windsor County, 2; Washington County, 1; Caledonia County, 1; Essex County, 5. In addition to these 13 confirmed cases, the Department of Health lists 5 cases as "pending validation." Bennington County's official cumulative total has risen to 76.

No Vermonters died of the disease over the past day. The state death toll stands at 56. Five Vermonters are currently hospitalized with the disease, up 3 from Tuesday. So far, 78,358 tests have been administered.

The health department reported that 1,623 people were being monitored as of Wednesday, an increase of 49 from Tuesday — 1,547 are travelers to Vermont.

The number of Vermonters reported to have recovered from COVID-19 rose by 5 since Tuesday, to 1,104.

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State of Emergency extended

The state of Vermont extended the state of emergency for another month Wednesday to be able to maintain special rules needed to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Scott said.

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Scott made the announcement Tuesday about extending the state of emergency, which he first declared in March and has extended every month, but the order was signed on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

"It's the vehicle we need to keep certain protections in place, control outbreaks as they come up so we can keep the economy open and manage the ongoing crisis," he said.

As long as the data shows the state is managing the virus, the process of reopening will continue.

"It may be awhile before life truly returns to normal, but we've shown we can reopen in a measured way and keep Vermonters safe," he said.

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Update on possible area outbreak

The Associated Press reports that state officials were continuing to monitor Wednesday a possible outbreak of the virus in Manchester and Londonderry. At least 30 people tested positive for the virus using an antigen test.

Vermont does not count tests as positive unless they are done with a more reliable system, but followup is being conducted, both to confirm the initial diagnosis and trace any possible route of infection.

Pop-up testing sites were open Wednesday in both communities so people could receive the more reliable tests.

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