With more than 800 tests having been done, the Vermont Department of Health reports seven new confirmed COVID-19 on Friday.

The state has confirmed 29 cases. The total on Thursday was 22.

Also on Thursday, the health department announced the first two deaths from COVID. One of the new cases on the list was one of the deaths, an 80-year-old woman who lived at Burlington Health and Rehab.

The woman died Thursday.

Three of the newly identified cases involved residents of Burlington Health and Rehab. There are a man in his 70s, a man older than 80 and a woman older than 80. None of the three are hospitalized.

The other new cases are man in his 20s from Windham County, a man in his 40s from Windham County and a man in his 50s who was tested in Washington County. None of the three men has been hospitalized.

The daily update from the health department Friday also said Vermont is “now experiencing community spread of COVID-19.”

The spread is why Vermonters are being encouraged to keep a safe distance from others while engaged in daily activities or to stay home when possible.

Testing is currently limited, the release said. Health care workers, hospitalized patients and vulnerable populations are being given priority.

People experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, are advised to drink fluids, get rest and take fever-reducing medication as appropriate.

The release said the health department's position is to “encourage social distancing, not social isolation.” Vermonters are encouraged to connect with family, friends and the community in responsible ways like using communication technology or going outside.

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For many it will be social isolation

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