Covid numbers continue to rise locally, statewide Weekly update: 2,543 new cases statewide; 36 in Chester

A record number of Vermonters is hospitalized with Covid-19.

 

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For the past two weeks, Vermont’s Covid-19 case numbers have continued to shatter records, hitting new high during both Thanksgiving week and last week. Although the state’s daily dashboard was not updated on Thanksgiving and the Friday after, the state did release the daily case numbers for those individual days when they returned to reporting on Monday, Nov. 29.

Using that data, the weekly case total from Friday, Nov. 19 to Friday, Nov. 26 saw a record 2,637 cases, followed by the second highest weekly case total for Friday, Nov. 26 through Friday, Dec. 3 of 2,543. Both were up from the pre-Thanksgiving week high of 2,419. Also of note, Thursday, Dec. 2 saw the highest daily total since the pandemic began with 604 cases. The Vermont total now stands at 51,629 cases since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

On Tuesday, Vermont health officials had little to say about the continuing high Covid-19 numbers other than to point to unvaccinated Vermonters and encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and boosted.

On Tuesday, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine acknowledged that transmission levels were still high and encouraged those who had recently gathered for the Thanksgiving holiday to test five to seven days after the gathering even if asymptomatic, using rapid at home tests if possible. He also suggested that if you test positive, you should notify recent contacts directly.

With continued low Covid-19 numbers in grades K-12, Vermont public schools will move from Step II to Step III in reopening. Photo by Alexandra Koch for Pixabay.

Local school numbers

The reported school numbers from Vermont’s Health Department website, dated Nov. 29, showed:

  • Two new cases, 14 in total at Chester-Andover Elementary;
  • no new cases and eight in total at Ludlow Elementary School;
  • five new cases and eight in total at Green Mountain High;
  • no new cases, two in total reported at Cavendish Town Elementary School.

In Springfield: Two new cases and 21 in total have been reported at Riverside Middle School; Elm Hill shows 16 new cases, 30 in total; Union Street School is showing five new cases in this past week, 24 in total; Springfield High School showed three new cases, 11 in total; and River Valley Tech showed zero new cases, two in total.

With the high number of cases reported at Elm Hill School, Springfield Superintendent Zach McLaughlin posted on his website that he has closed Elm Hill throughout this week, reopening Monday, Dec. 6.

Total statewide K-12 numbers reported 183 new Covid cases with 2,244 since the school year began.

Area town numbers all spike

Local Covid-19 numbers have all spiked with Chester reporting a record 36 new cases, a big jump from six cases last week. That brings Chester’s total to 299 for the entire pandemic. That is almsot one-tenth of Chester’s entire population.

Springfield also saw a significant jump with a record-breaking 124 cases reported this week, up from 46 last week. Ludlow reported seven new cases this week, up from one last week and a return to the week prior. Cavendish reported eight new cases, up from one last week and also a weekly record for that town. Those community updates can be seen here.

Overall, new cases in Windsor County continued to increase with 379 new cases last week though this number was tallied since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Windham County also continued to rise with 167 new cases reported since last week.

Deaths hold steady; hospitalizations,

Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash.

positivity hit records

Since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, 10 Vermonters have died from Covid, bringing the total to 416. Of the most recent deaths, five were over 80 years old, three were age 70 to 79, one was age 60 to 69, and one was age 50 to 59.

Currently, a record 81 people are hospitalized with Covid-19, up from 64 reported from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The number of people in intensive care has also increased from 17 to 22. The positivity rate jumped from 3.8 recorded on Wednesday before Thanksgiving to 5.1 percent, the first time the positivity rate has risen above 5 percent.

According to Levine, Rutland and Bennington counties, which are both seeing soaring case numbers, are responsible for slightly less than half of the state’s hospitalization numbers.

Mike Smith, Vermont Secretary of the Agency of Human Services, said the state is working to add more ICU beds as current resources were being stretched.

In this report, the total positive case numbers, deaths and other statistics are based on data from Friday, Nov. 26 (but including data only through Wednesday, Nov. 24, except for daily case totals) to Friday Dec. 3, published on the Health Department’s Case Dashboard.

More than 19,000 Vermont kids signed up for vaxx

Also on Tuesday, Smith said 19,358 Vermont students in the 5 to 11 age range have received or have signed up to get the newly approved Pfizer vaccine, which is more than 44 percent of that population. This percentage leads the nation in this category.

Parents must have made an appointment for their child to receive the vaccine. Appointments for both the school-based and state-run clinics can be made at healthvermont.gov/KidsVaccine or by calling 855-722-7878. Families may need to add their child as a dependent in the registration system.

Vermont remains a national leader for vaccination rates across most categories. Vaccination rates for ages 12+ stand at 93.6 percent of eligible Vermonters having received at least one dose of vaccine, up from 92.9 percent last week as of Wednesday, Nov. 24. Vermonters ages 5+ who have received at least one dose is at 83 percent, up from 81 percent. Windsor County now has a 80 percent vaccination rate up from 78 percent last week, while Windham County is at 82 percent, up from 80 percent. For vaccination details, visit the Vaccine Dashboard.

Boosters are now available for Vermonters over age 18 for all vaccines. Vermont has administered over 158,000 booster doses, continuing to lead the nation in this category.

To schedule your booster shot, check for availability at walk-in vaccine locations below or check for clinics by appointment by clicking here. You can also make an appointment on line here.

Nearest walk-up clinics and by-appointment clinics for children

Friday, Dec. 3

School Clinic: Riverside Middle School, Springfield, 7-8 p.m. (age 5-11)

Saturday, Dec. 4

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 53 Fairview St.., Brattleboro, 9 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. (12+)

Crystal Palace, 72 Depot St., Manchester Center, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (5-11)

Monday, Dec. 6

School Clinic: Ludlow Elementary School, Ludlow 9– 11 a.m. (5-11)

School Clinic: Cavendish Town Elementary School, Proctorsville, noon – 2 p.m. (5-11)

School Clinic: Hartford High School, White River Jct., 4-7 p.m. (12+)

Diamond Run Mall, Rutland, 8 -11 a.m. (12+)

Tuesday, Dec. 7

School Clinic: Riverside Middle School, Springfield, 7-8 p.m. (5-11)

School Clinic: Rutland Northeast Primary School, Rutland, 9 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. (age 5-11 and 12+)

School Clinic: White River School, Putney., 9:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. (age 5-11)

School Clinic: Putney Central School, White River Jct., noon.- 3 p.m. (age 5-11)

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 53 Fairview St., Brattleboro, 9 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.

VFW- Brattleboro, 40 Black Mountain Road, Brattleboro, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Diamond Run Mall, Rutland, 8 -11 a.m. (12+)

Grace Cottage Hospital, 133 Grafton Road, Townshend, 8 a.m. – noon

Crystal Palace, 72 Depot St., Manchester Center, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (12+)

Wednesday, Dec. 8

School Clinic: Rutland Intermediate School, Rutland, 9 a.m.- 2:15 p.m. (age 5-11 and 12+)

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 53 Fairview St., Brattleboro, 9 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 9

School Clinic: Hartland Elementary School, Hartland., 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (5-11)

School Clinic: Hartford High School, White River Jct., 4-7 p.m. (12+), 7-8 p.m. (5-11)

Diamond Run Mall, Rutland, 8 -11 a.m. (12+)

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 53 Fairview St., Brattleboro, 9 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. (12+)

Asa Bloomer State Bldg., 88 Merchants Row, Rutland, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (12+)

Friday Dec. 10

School Clinic: Riverside Middle School, Springfield, 7-8 p.m. (5-11)

Diamond Run Mall, Rutland, 8:30 -11 a.m. (12+)

Crystal Palace, 72 Depot St., Manchester Center, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (12+)

For details on all vaccination locations or to schedule an appointment, visit Vermont Health Department website or call 855-722-7878.

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