8 of Vermont's 14 counties report 'high' Covid levels, CDC says

8 of Vermont’s 14 counties report ‘high’ Covid levels, CDC says

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that eight Vermont counties have “high” community Covid-19 levels.

That’s a drop from the 12 counties with reportedly high levels last week. Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orleans and Caledonia dropped down from high to medium levels, while Windham moved up from low to medium, according to the CDC. Essex was the only county with low levels.

The CDC’s community levels are based on three metrics: recent Covid cases, hospital admissions and hospital beds taken up by Covid patients.

Covid cases in Vermont were mostly flat for the past week but remain at a far higher level than before BA.2 became the dominant subvariant in Vermont.

Hospital admissions reached a high of around 20 Covid patients per day last week — close to the numbers in the peak of the Omicron surge — but have dropped to about 11 per day in the past seven days, according to CDC data. It did not release data on hospital bed use.

The CDC recommends that people in high-level counties take broad-scale action to prevent Covid transmission, such as wearing masks. In medium counties, the CDC recommends that high-risk individuals take extra precautions to protect themselves.

The city of Burlington also released its latest week of data on the amount of the Covid virus detected in the city’s wastewater treatment plants. It shows that viral levels were roughly the same as the week before.

Vermont reported 403 new Covid-19 cases, 69 hospitalizations and no additional deaths Friday.

The state’s seven-day average for new infections is 337, up a tick from 336 on Thursday, according to the Vermont Department of Health dashboard.

Vermont’s seven-day average test positivity rate was 14.8% on Friday, down from 14.9% on Thursday. The test positivity rate includes only PCR tests, not at-home antigen tests.

The health department reported that 69 people were hospitalized with Covid as of Friday, up from 52 on Thursday. That includes 13 people in intensive care, up from seven on Thursday.

The health department reported no additional Covid deaths on Friday. In total, 648 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic, including eight in May.

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