Local Covid-19 numbers grow in post-holiday spikes

By Cherise Madigan
© 2021 Telegraph Publishing, LLC

The Vermont Department of Health announced 165 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, with 38 hospitalized, eight of whom are in intensive care.

To see the most recent map, click the link below in the story

Now more than 500 new cases have been reported since Thursday, Dec. 31. Since Sunday, Vermont’s seven-day average positivity rate has risen from 2.3 to 2.8 percent.

Those numbers do not yet reflect the full holiday week, including Christmas and New Year’s, which caused some concern among residents about the number of visitors to the area.

“There was a huge influx of people over the holidays, much more than I expected to see,” said Londonderry Emergency Management Director Kevin Beattie, during his pandemic update to the town’s Select Board meeting on Monday. “That caused a lot of anxiety around town, but it remains to be seen what the impact of that was. Hopefully not much.”

Regionally, since Dec. 21, Windham County has recorded the most cases of Covid-19 with 151 cases, among a population of approximately 43,386. Bennington County recorded 149 as well as one death, the only in Southern Vermont, from a population of 35,470. In the same time frame, Windsor County reported 105 cases among 55,062 people.

Though these county case numbers reported through the Department of Health dashboard include non-Vermont residents who tested positive while visiting or seeking care in the state, there is no differentiation between residents and non-residents provided because of health privacy requirements.

Exact case counts are not available by town for the same reason, though case rates per 10,000 residents are reported. These counts do not include non-Vermont residents but do reflect those in long-term care or a correctional facility.

As of Dec. 30, Dover has recorded the highest rate of Covid cases with more than 80 cases per 10,000 people (in an overall population of 1,064 people) and is the only Southern Vermont town in that rate-bracket. Londonderry and Windham have each recorded between 41 and 80 cases in their populations of 1,677 and 419 residents, respectively.

Seven towns fell into the 21 to 40 case bracket, many of which have a population over 1,000 residents. Exceptions to that include Peru and Winhall, with lower populations, and Manchester with a significantly higher population than the rest. Towns in this bracket include:

  • Ludlow (Population: 1,885)
  • Cavendish (Population: 1,406)
  • Peru (Population: 375)
  • Winhall (Population: 735)
  • Manchester (Population: 4,258)
  • Danby (Population: 1,311)

Four towns — Chester (Population: 3,154), Springfield (Population: 9,373), Mt. Holly (Population: 1,244), and Wallingford (Population: 1,974) — recorded between 11 and 20 cases in the past to weeks. Dorset (Population: 1,948), Jamaica (Population: 1,030), and Townshend (Population: 1,149) fell into the 6 to 10 case bracket.

Recording less than 1 case per 10,000 people were towns with populations around or below 500 people.

  • Andover (Population: 467)
  • Weston (Population: 566)
  • Landgrove (Population: 155)
  • Stratton (Population, 200)

Additional year-end data released by the state early this month shows that between March 5 and Dec. 30, Chester recorded a total of 25 Covid-19 cases while Londonderry recorded 20. Case counts provided for other nearby towns, in that time-frame, include:

  • 34 cases in Manchester
  • 30 cases in Dover
  • 17 cases in Winhall
  • 14 cases in Danby
  • 8 cases in Dorset

The next weekly data summary will be provided by the state on Friday, Jan. 8.

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About the Author: Journalist and photographer Cherise Madigan specializes in writing about outdoor recreation, the environment and travel. She has roots in Manchester and a history of reporting throughout Southern Vermont. Madigan is a graduate of Nazareth College of Rochester, earning her degree in Political Science summa cum laude in 2015.

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  1. I’d like to know why Vermont is the only state in the Union who uses blue for their scale? It’s honestly SO confusing! We all know what the red hues represent.