New York State In-depth

Vermont’s Covid levels fall back to ‘low’ even as national numbers rise

Vermont’s Covid-19 community has fallen to “low” for the past week, the Vermont Department of Health reported Wednesday.

Hospital admissions have fallen again after nearly doubling in last week’s report, raising the community level to “moderate” at the time, the department reported. In the past week, 40 people have been hospitalized for Covid, compared with 67 the week before.

The number of Covid patients currently in Vermont hospitals also fell. As of Wednesday, the department was reporting 27 Covid patients, including one in intensive care. That compares to 49 Covid patients, including two in intensive care, as of last Wednesday.

At the same time, the rest of the nation has reported a surge in Covid hospitalizations, although they are well below the virus’ peak in January 2022, according to The New York Times.

Northeastern states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, have some of the highest hospitalization rates in the country, but southern states like Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama have reported the biggest increases over the past two weeks, The Times reported.

In Vermont, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Bennington County had “high” levels of Covid and Windham County had “moderate” levels of Covid. Vermont’s other 12 counties had “low” scores.

The CDC bases its ratings on case counts, hospital admissions and the percentage of inpatient beds occupied by Covid patients. For Bennington County, the agency groups the county into the hospital service area around Albany, New York, so high hospitalization rates in upstate New York could also affect the county’s rating.

The health department reported an increase in Covid cases, with 432 Covid cases in the past week compared to 391 the week before. Covid case data is mainly based on PCR testing and does not include at-home antigen testing.

The department also added a new section on monthly Covid deaths after announcing on Thursday that it had failed to report 86 deaths, most of which occurred in 2022.

According to the department, Vermont had 21 Covid deaths in December, down from the more than 30 deaths reported for both October and November. Four Covid deaths have been reported so far in January. In all, 881 people have died from Covid in Vermont since the pandemic began nearly three years ago.

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