Vermont Covid cases hit new records Omicron has yet to show impact on hospitalizations, deaths

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As state officials predicted heading into the holidays and the new year — and likely driven by the more contagious Omicron variant –Vermont’s new Covid-19 cases have soared into record territory this past week.

The state hit a single-day case total of 1,352 on Thursday, Dec. 30, and a record weekly total of 4,182 cases, recorded from Thursday, Dec. 23 to Thursday, Dec. 30. The prior weekly record was in mid-December with 3,428.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Michael Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, said cases are expected to increase over the next four weeks with the big question remaining what that will that mean for severe consequences such as hospitalizations or deaths, which are “still largely a big unknown at the moment.”

He went on to add that Omicron is not showing a direct correlation between positive cases leading to an equally high rate of hospitalizations and deaths. Based on U.S. numbers and internationally, “the data is encouraging,” he said.

Also, as reported by The Chester Telegraph on Wednesday, Dec. 29, Gov. Phil Scott has announced that parents and caregivers of Vermont’s K-12 children will be able to pick up one free rapid antigen test kit per student this week at sites around Vermont. The state is encouraging parents to use these kits to test kids before they return to school next week, but a test is not a requirement for returning to school. To see full details on where to find the tests and how to report results, click here.

Chester cases show a slight uptick, Ludlow hits record

Chester’s Covid-19 numbers have increased slightly, reporting 16 infections in the past week, just up from the record 12 new cases last week. That brings Chester’s total to 388 for the entire pandemic, in a town of slightly more than 3,100 resident.

Ludlow’s new case total doubled and hit a new weekly record with 14 new cases, up from seven reported last week. Springfield numbers continued to decline: 51 cases this week, down from 78 last week. Cavendish cases also declined: two, down from six cases last week. Those community updates can be seen here.

Overall, new cases in Windsor County continued to decline with 183 this week, compared to 185  last week. Windham County reversed trend however showing a sharp increase with 246 new cases this week, compared to 153 last week, and returning to levels reported the week before at 236.

Local sites with take-home antigen tests and LAMP tests

As part of a strategy for helping to curb a holiday surge, Vermont has begun distributing approximately 100,000 antigen take-home tests between now and New Year’s.

As antigen testing kit availability and other testing opportunities continue to evolve, visit this link to get up to date information on test availability, locations and other information.

On holiday break, local schools report little rise in cases

The reported school numbers from Vermont’s Health Department website, dated Dec. 27, showed:

  • No new cases, 15 in total at Chester-Andover Elementary;
  • no new cases and eight in total at Ludlow Elementary School;
  • two new cases and 20 in total at Green Mountain High;
  • no new cases, three in total reported at Cavendish Town Elementary School.

In Springfield: One new case and 21 in total have been reported at Riverside Middle School, Elm Hill shows zero new cases, 32 in total; Union Street School is showing zero new cases in this past week, 32 in total; Springfield High School showed one new case, 18 in total; and River Valley Tech showed zero new cases, one in total

Total statewide K-12 numbers reported 201 new Covid cases with 3,208 since the school year began. School has been out of session for the Christmas holiday since Thursday, Dec. 23.

Deaths, hospitalizations, are up; positivity soars

Vermont Covid deaths are up only slightly with 11 reported, bringing the total to 471 Vermonters having died from Covid since the pandemic began in March 2020. Nine deaths were reported from last week. Of the most recent deaths, four were over 80 years old, two were age 70 to 79, two were age 60 to 69, two were age 50 to 59, and one was age 30 to 39.

Currently, 56 people are hospitalized with Covid-19, up from 53 reported last week. The number of people in intensive care has increased from 17 to 19. The positivity rate has jumped by a full three percentage points going from 4.3 to 7.3 percent.

Due to the holidays on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, in this report, the total positive case numbers, deaths and other statistics are based on data from Thursday, Dec. 23, to Thursday, Dec. 30, published on the Health Department’s Case Dashboard.

Over 23,700 plus kids have signed up for vaxx

On Tuesday, Mike Smith, secretary of the Agency of Human Services, said 23,757 Vermont students in the 5 to 11 age range have received or have signed up to get the Pfizer vaccine. That’s about 53 percent of that population, holding steady from last week. Schools have been on holiday break since Thursday, Dec. 23.

Vermont remains a national leader for vaccination rates across most categories. Vaccination rates for ages 12+ stand at 96.6 percent of eligible Vermonters having received at least one dose of vaccine, up from 96.1 percent last week. Windsor County now has remained steady at 83 percent vaccination rate, while Windham County has risen to 84 percent, up from 83 percent last week.. For vaccination details, visit the Vaccine Dashboard.

Boosters are now available for Vermonters over age of 16. Approximately 56 percent of those eligible have gotten their booster so far, up from 45.4 percent reported last week.

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 stores and pharmacies offering vaccines

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

Friday, Dec. 31

Rutland Regional Medical Center, 160 Allen St., Rutland, 7:30 a.m.-noon (12+)

Rutland Regional Ambulance, 275 Stratton Road, Rutland, 10 a.m.-noon (12+)

Monday, Jan. 3

Greater Falls Pharmacy, 78 Atkinson St., Bellows Falls, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (12+)

Mt. Ascutney Hospital, Prof. Building, 289 County Road, Windsor, 9 – 11:30 a.m. (12+)

Tuesday, Jan. 4

Elm Hill School, Springfield, 9 – 11 a.m. (5-11)

Union Street School, Springfield, 1 – 3 p.m. (5-11)

Grace Cottage Hospital, 133 Grafton Road, Townshend, 8 a.m.-noon (12+)

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

Community Health Pediatrics, 1 General Wing Road, Rutland, 4-7 p.m. (5-11)

Hartford District Office, 118 Prospect St., White River Junction, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (12+), 2-4 p.m. (5-11)

Wednesday, Jan. 5

Chester American Legion, EMS Clinic 635 VT Rte. 103, Chester 3-5:30 p.m.

Greater Falls Pharmacy, 78 Atkinson St., Bellows Falls, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (12+)

Diamond Run Mall, Rutland, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (5-11) and (12+)

Rutland Regional Medical Center, 160 Allen St. Rutland, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (12+)

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

Putney Fire Dept., 14 Main St., Putney, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (12+)

Northshire Rescue, 6041 Main St., Manchester Ctr, 3-5:30 p.m. (12+)

Thursday, Jan. 6

Riverside Middle School, Springfield, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (5-11) and (12+)

Rutland Regional Medical Center, 160 Allen St. Rutland, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (12+)

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

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

Friday, Jan. 7

Rutland Regional Medical Center, 160 Allen St., Rutland, 7:30 a.m.-noon (12+)

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 17 Belmont Ave., Brattleboro, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (12+)

Greater Falls Pharmacy, 78 Atkinson St., Bellows Falls, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (12+)

Westminster Armory, 23 Armory Lane, Westminster 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (12+)

Rescue Inc., Division 1 Station, 541 Canal St., Brattleboro 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 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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