Half of Vermont has ‘high’ Covid-19 levels, CDC says

Seven of Vermont’s 14 counties now have “high” Covid-19 community levels, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Four others fell into the “medium” category, while the other three counties were “low,” the CDC reported.

The community rankings are based on three metrics: recent Covid case counts, new hospital admissions for Covid and the community’s overall hospital capacity. 

Cases have risen about 47% in the past two weeks, and hospital admissions have risen to about 12 per day from a low of about five per day, according to CDC data. The CDC did not release data on Vermont’s hospital capacity.

The CDC recommends that people in high-level counties take broad public actions to reduce transmission, such as wearing a mask in indoor public spaces. In medium-level counties, high-risk people should consider taking additional precautions.

On Friday, the city of Burlington released the latest week of data on Covid viral levels at wastewater treatment plants, showing a drop in the near-record high reported at one plant the week before.

However, all three plants continue to report viral loads far higher than in mid-March — before the BA.2 variant became the dominant strain in Vermont.

Vermont reported 417 new Covid-19 cases, 60 hospitalizations and three additional deaths on Friday.

The state’s seven-day average for new infections is 341, up from 330 on Thursday,  according to the Vermont Department of Health dashboard. 

Vermont’s seven-day average test positivity rate was 13.3% on Friday, up from 13% on Thursday. The test positivity rate includes only PCR tests, not at-home antigen tests.

The health department reported that 60 people were hospitalized with Covid as of Friday, down from 64 on Thursday. That includes eight people in intensive care, the same as Thursday.

The health department reported three additional Covid deaths on Friday. In total, 637 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic, including six so far in April.

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