Weekly Covid Update: More than half of new Covid cases hitting those under 30

Of 251 new cases, more than half are under the age of 30. Photo by Candid_Shots for Pixaby.

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Even as Vermont leads the nation with an 83.6 percent vaccination rate for those 65 or older, a single daily record of 251 new Covid-19 cases and a weekly total that has jumped back over the 1,000 case mark are reminders that “this is still a pandemic,” said Gov. Phil Scott during the press conference on Friday.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine encapsulated the dueling trends saying, “our efforts to vaccinate Vermonters is a race against what the virus does best: move easily from person to person.”

Of the 251 new cases, more than half are under the age of 30, with the largest age band being 20 to 29. In contrast, only four people among them are age 65 or older — “a vivid illustration” that Vermont’s vaccination strategy was working, he said.

Levine also noted that the strain first found in the United Kingdom is playing a factor and “we should always continue to be humbled by the virus.”

Although Scott said he was caught by surprise by the high daily case number, he said that looking at the metrics of the age groups has told them that their strategy to target age bands to limit hospitalizations and deaths is working.

Cases jump, as deaths and positivity rate trend up

The Health Department reported this week that new Covid-19 cases jumped by more than 300, going from 770 cases last week to 1,105 this week, for a total of 18,498 since the beginning of the pandemic. Death numbers from Covid-19 ticked up from five last week to seven this week. The total number of Vermonters who have died from Covid-19 is now 224. Of those who lost their lives to Covid-19 this week, four were older than 80, two were between 60 and 69, and one fatality between 40 and 49 years of age.

The overall seven-day positivity rate reversed a downward trend, going from 1.3 percent last week to 1.7 percent this week. Hospitalizations were up slightly this week, rising from 22 to 26. The number of patients in intensive care lowered from five to four and none is on ventilators.

The total positive case numbers, deaths and other statistics are based on data published on the Health Department’s daily dashboard from Friday, March 19 through Friday, March 26.

State No. 1 for 65+ vaxx rate; 189,000 have gotten a jab or two

According to the Health Department, more than 189,000 eligible Vermonters have received a vaccine: More than 85,700 have received their first dose and nearly 104,000 have received both doses.

Vermont is first in the nation with vaccinating 65 and older. It also has an 86 percent vaccination rate for those age 75 and older; a 87 percent vaccination rate of those 70 to 74; and 70 percent rate of those 65 to 69.

Over 70 percent of educators and child care staffers have either received their first dose or made an appointment. New educator clinics will open in Rutland and Hartford on March 29 among other locations. With the success of the educator vaccination program, educator specific clinics will be phased out in early April according to Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith.

Age band 60+ began registration on Thursday, March 25 with more than 12,700 having already made their first appointment. Age 55+ can begin scheduling their vaccine on Monday, March 29; age 40+ on Monday, April 5; age 30+ on Monday, April 12; and age 16+ on Monday, April 19.

Registration through the state website can be made online by clicking here or by calling 855-722-7878.

Walgreens will continue to offer vaccinations and Vermonters can register directly on its website or through the state website. Kinney Drugs and CVS also continue to offer vaccines and can be scheduled either on their respective websites or through the state website.

Smith reminded Vermonters that if they receive a vaccine through a pharmacy partner yet have a different scheduled appointment through the state system to cancel the state vaccine slot so it can be given to someone else.

Rutland cases soar; local counts remain low

Windham County added 31 new cases, down slightly from 32 new cases last week, for a total of 1,069. Windsor County added 28 new cases, just down from the 29 reported last week, for a total of 1,152.

Rutland County saw a dramatic jump of 144 cases, a huge increase from 57 reported last week for a total of 1,607. Bennington County added 48 cases, up from 62 cases last week, for a total of 1,646.

Local town totals were low with Ludlow adding four
new cases this week; Chester three; Springfield two;
and Cavendish none.

Local town totals were low with Ludlow adding four new cases this week; Chester three; Springfield two; and none in Cavendish.

In K-12 schools throughout Vermont, there are 96 new Covid cases this week, up dramatically from 57 last week, with 881 total Covid cases reported as of Wednesday, March 24, on the School Based Covid-19 Transmission document.

UVM reported a total of 93 student positive cases during the week of March 15 to 21, over twice the number from the week prior. Levine said that what their students are showing for positive results are reflective of the region and that other colleges across the state are not seeing a similar surge in cases.

The Covid-19 testing schedule for Springfield has been updated with daily testing available from now through Sunday, April 10 with varying times each day. The CIC Health Testing in Springfield is located at 51 Pearl St., Level 1, in Springfield. Click on this link to check for specific times each day. Sign up to be notified of future testing dates in the area of your choice.

For more state-wide details on COVID-19 information and resources, click here.

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