Levine recommends indoor masks; first 20-29 year old dies of Covid-19

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As area students prepare to return to school on Tuesday and as positive Covid-19 cases are rising in both nursing homes and  correctional facilities around the state, Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine is recommending masking indoors in public spaces regardless of vaccination status.

This is in line with a recent recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control that specified wearing masks indoors in “areas with substantial or high transmission.” Levine said he agreed with the CDC knowing there are still members of our population at risk including those who are immuno-compromised, children under 12 and those who live or spend a lot of time in schools, long-term care facilities or other congregate settings.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 31, positive Covid-19 cases at long-term nursing care facilities stood at 120 cases, 80 residents and 40 staffers, and included four deaths. This did not include a recently reported positive case of a resident at the Gill Odd Fellows Home in Ludlow.

Vail Resorts, owners of Okemo Mountain Resort, is also implementing a mask mandate. According to Okemo/Vail communications manager Bonnie MacPherson, “Beginning Sept. 7, Vail Resorts is implementing an indoor covering requirement for employees and guests at our resorts for our current operations, in line with the mandate from the U.S. Forest Service and consistent with many other hospitality, entertainment and retail businesses. At this time, face coverings are not required in outdoor settings.”

Two Rivers Supervisory Union has already announced a mask mandate for students and staff of all schools in the district, Green Mountain Union High, Cavendish Town Elementary, Chester-Andover Elementary, Ludlow Elementary and the Mount Holly School. School begins for the year on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Five more deaths, including one in 20-29 age group

Ahe state of Vermont has reported five more Covid-19 deaths over the past week, including the  first Vermonter in the age 20-29 group. The five deaths this week matched last week’s number, for a total of 280 deaths. In addition to the 20-29 year old, two deaths were over 80 and two deaths were aged 70 to 79.

Two Rivers Supervisory Union schools open on Tuesday.

Positive cases reached over the 1,000 threshold for the first time since this latest surge began in late July. The number hit 1,055  cases, up from 870 new cases reported last week, largely due to the Delta variant. The Vermont total now stands at 28,703 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Currently, 31 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 up from 30 last week. The number of people in intensive care rose from four to 11. The positivity rate fell however from 3.0 percent to 2.6 percent this past week.

Windsor County has lessened slightly with 70 new Covid-19 cases reported, versus 78 cases in the past week. Windham County saw an increase of 81 new cases, up from 77 last week. Both counties however remained at the higher levels reached last week, which had doubled from the week prior.

The total positive case numbers, deaths and other statistics are based on data published on the Health Department’s daily dashboard.

Local town numbers have ticked up slightly with cases reported this past week at 22, up from 14 last week, including: 12 in Springfield, up from eight; four cases in Chester, down from five; four cases in Ludlow, up from zero; and two cases in Cavendish, up from one.  Those community updates can be seen here.

Vermont continues to lead the nation in vaccination rate. 86.3 percent of eligible Vermonters have received at least one dose of vaccine, up from 85.8 percent last week. Windsor County’s vaccination rate is currently at 78.3 percent up from 77.8 percent last week and Windham County’s rate has hit the 80 percent threshold, up from 79.6 percent from last week. For vaccination details, visit Vermont’s vaccination dashboard.

Local vaccine clinics now with regular weekly hours

  • Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 53 Fairview St., Brattleboro; 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday.
  • Springfield Medical Care Systems, 51 Pearl St. Level 2, Springfield; 8-11 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Springfield Vermont Department of Health Office, 100 Mineral St., Springfield; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday.
  • White River Junction Vermont Department of Health Office, 118 Prospect St., White River Junction, 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday.

Nearest walk-up clinics

Friday, Sept. 3

  • Quechee Balloon Festival, 70 Village Green, Quechee, 3-7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 4

  • King Arthur Baking Co. Store, 135 US Rte. 5, Norwich, noon-4 p.m.
  • Bennington Fire Dept., 130 River St., Bennington, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 5

  • Guilford Fair, 163 Fairground Rd., Guilford, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 6

  • School Clinic: Academy School, Brattleboro, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Guilford Fair, 163 Fairground Rd., Guilford, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 7

  • School Clinic: Hartford High School, White River Jct., 9 a.m.-noon.

Thursday, Sept. 9

  • School Clinic: Rutland High School, Rutland, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Brattleboro Retreat, 17 Farmhouse Square, Brattleboro, 3-8 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 10

  • School Clinic: Bellows Falls Union High School, Westminster, 2-8 p.m.
  • Hartford Block Party, 171 Bridge St., Hartford, 5-7 p.m.

For details on these events or all vaccination clinics throughout the state, Click Here. Walgreens continues to offer vaccinations and Vermonters can register directly on its website or through the state website.

When making an appointment through the state’s website, options include clinics run by the Health Department, the National Guard, health care partners, Costco, Hannaford, Price Chopper, Rite-Aid, Shaw’s and Walmart.

Rite-Aid in both Ludlow and Springfield are offering walk-in vaccines. Only larger Shaw’s stores that have pharmacies are participating in the vaccination program, which means that neither the Ludlow nor Springfield location is participating.

To register for a vaccination and see your many options, visit the Vermont Health Department website or call 855-722-7878.

 

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  1. MJ Miles says:

    Do we know if VT reports VT residents that die in NH at DHMC? Is it based on state of residency vs location? Given DH is our primary tertiary center for transfers out of the critical access hospitals in the area.

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