MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — 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.

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.

“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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POSSIBLE SOUTHERN VERMONT OUTBREAK

Meanwhile, 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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NUMBERS

On Wednesday, Vermont reported 13 more cases of the virus that causes COVID-19 bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to just under 1,320.

It was unclear if the two Bennington County cases reported Wednesday were connected to the potential outbreak in Manchester.

There are five people hospitalized for COVID-19 across the state.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 remained at 56. Vermont has not seen a COVID-19 death in a month.

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