Vermont broke another record on New Year’s Eve. Hospital stays are on the rise now.


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Vermont broke another record on New Year's Eve.  Hospital stays are on the rise now.

Vermont broke another record on New Year’s Eve. Hospital stays are on the rise now.


Vermont broke the one-day case record for the third day in a row on New Year’s Eve, with 1,471 cases in one day, the Department of Health said Monday.

That record figure came after the state reported 973 cases on Wednesday — then its highest single-day total — and hit 1,330 on Thursday, also a record at that point.

Data fills in on Monday at the weekend, when the department stopped updating its dashboard. After 1,471 cases on Friday, the number of cases fell to 577 on Saturday, 473 on Sunday and 245 on Monday.

The seven-day average is now 785 cases per day — nearly double the 400 cases per day compared to the previous week.

However, Vermont is not unique in its box explosion. Cases are up 204% nationwide, according to the New York Times. Nearby New York and New Jersey have the highest rates of Covid-19 in the country, while Rhode Island and Massachusetts are in the top 10.

74 people are currently hospitalized in Vermont with Covid-19 — the highest number in more than two weeks, according to Department of Health data. The record is 92 patients, set on December 8.

The state reported 56 people were hospitalized as of December 30, but the numbers rose over the weekend: 69 on December 31, 68 on January 1, and 69 on January 2, according to Michael Pechiak, the Treasury commissioner. Regulation.

In contrast, the number of patients in intensive care decreased from 19 on December 30 to 14 on January 3.

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For the month of December, a total of 60 people have died from Covid. This is higher than the total number of deaths in November of 42 but lower than the record number of 71 deaths in December 2020.

Limited test difficulties

The Vermont Department of Health has distributed tens of thousands of home tests in preparation for the holidays, leading to overcrowded testing centers that ran out of supplies within hours.

The state has not announced any plans to do the same for the post-holiday period. Meanwhile, traditional PCR testing is still an option, but availability appears to be low, according to a review of the department’s testing portal.

On Monday morning, VTDigger found 24 state-run sites that submitted 59 slots to get a PCR test in the next seven days. The site does not say how many people can be tested in each time period.

Four counties — Addison, Grand Isle, Bennington and Windham — did not have any available testing. Among the other 10 counties, test availability varied: Washington County had five test sites, for example, while Essex County has only one.

PCR tests are also available at some drugstores, such as Kinney Drugs, but many of the VTDigger ZIP codes tested on the Kinney Drugs website did not return any test slots.

“Efforts to provide testing[are]an ongoing process,” said department spokesman Ben Truman.

“We are continuing to identify opportunities for PCR testing and take it home in as many areas as possible, as logistics and supplies allow,” he said. Vermonters are encouraged to visit the department’s website or contact pharmacies and nongovernmental testing providers to check for updates.

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The state’s test-positive rate reached an unprecedented nearly 11% on Monday, double the pre-holiday rate of about 5%. The last time Vermont had a positivity rate above 10% was in the early spring of 2020, when testing was more limited.

However, officials cautioned that Vermont’s positivity rate could skew upward as antigen tests become available. People without symptoms may opt for antigen testing; A net result is likely to raise the positivity rate of PCR tests.

As of Monday, about 8% of tests reported by the department over the past week are “probable” cases, meaning results are based on antigen tests and either symptoms of Covid-19 or confirmed exposure to a case of Covid-19. The department requires Vermonters to self-report antigen test results.

hack case data

The department also provided some data on cases among vaccinated Vermonters, but it only included cases up to December 25 — before the massive increase in case that occurred the following week.

And the reported cases are not all Omicron variants, because they still accounted for only 44% of New England breeds at the time, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts said Covid-19 vaccines are less likely to prevent Omicron transmission than previous versions of the virus, although they still provide strong protection against severe disease.

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In the week of December 19-25, Vermont reported 1,301 cases of COVID-19 among unvaccinated people and 1,274 among vaccinated people. Because there are more vaccinated Vermonters than unvaccinated people, this means that the case rate among unvaccinated people is much higher – 780 per 100,000 people, compared to 278 per 100,000 people vaccinated.

[Looking for data on breakthrough cases? See our reporting on the latest available statistics.]

Hospitalizations were similarly higher for unvaccinated Vermonters. There were 16 hospitalizations that week among unvaccinated Vermonters, or 9.6 per 100,000 people. By comparison, vaccinated Vermonters had 10 hospitalizations with a rate of 2 per 100,000 people.

The state does not report baseline data on deaths, but the death rate among unvaccinated people was also higher — about 12 per 100,000 people, compared to 4 per 100,000 people vaccinated with Vermonts.

These data do not take into account significant differences between the two groups, such as the fact that vaccinated Vermonters tend to be older. In addition to Vermont’s statistics, controlled scientific studies provide stronger evidence for the vaccine’s effectiveness.

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