Four Vermonters died of COVID-19 over the past day, the Vermont Department of Health reported Thursday. The death toll is now at 162.
The department reported 197 new cases of COVID-19 in Vermont on Thursday. The cumulative total reported is 9,573, which is 205 higher than the total reported Wednesday. The health department did not explain the discrepancy.
All of Vermont’s 14 counties reported at least two new cases. Chittenden County had 73; Windsor County had 31; Bennington County had 28; Windham County had 12; Franklin County had nine; Rutland County had eight; Orange County had seven; Addison and Lamoille counties each had six; Washington County had five; Caledonia and Essex counties each had four; and Grand Isle and Orleans counties each had two.
Forty-four Vermonters are hospitalized with the disease, and eight of those patients are in intensive care units.
Over the past two weeks, Windham County has reported 192 new cases, and Bennington County has reported 174. Chittenden County, Vermont’s largest county, has had 706.
Bennington County has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 among Vermont counties, at 195.6 cases per 10,000 residents, and Windham County is fifth, at 156.5. Chittenden County is first, at 205.0 cases per 10,000.
So far, 282,517 people have been tested. The reported seven-day average for positive tests has risen to 2.9 percent.
The number of Vermonters reported to have recovered from COVID-19 rose by 82 since Wednesday, to 6,403.
The health department reported that 362 345 people were being monitored for the disease as of Thursday, an increase of 17 from Wednesday. Of these, 173 are visitors to Vermont.
The statistics supplied by the Vermont Department of Health at midday each day are accurate as of the end of the previous day. The information is preliminary and subject to change.
VERMONT VACCINATION RATE INCHES UP TO 4.9%
Approximately 28,300 Vermonters have received at least one dose of vaccine to date, an increase of 1,700 from Wednesday, according to the health department. That includes 24,200 people who have received only their first dose, and 4,092 who have received their second.
That figure represents 4.9 percent of Vermonters who are 16 years old or older. In Bennington County, 6.0 percent of those eligible have been vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccination for members of the general public has not yet begun. Southwestern Vermont Medical Center expects to begin in mid to late February, depending on vaccine supply. Check the hospital’s website at https://svhealthcare.org/COVID-19/Vaccine-General-Public for updated information.
VACCINATION RULES SHIFTING
Currently, those in group 1a — health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities — are eligible for the vaccine. Vermont plans to use age groupings to determine who can receive the vaccine next.
The Department of Health said that the first age grouping eligible will likely be people 75 and older, then 70 and older, then 65 and older, as vaccine supply allows. “Based on what we know now about how much vaccine Vermont will get from the federal government, it will probably take until spring to finish these groups,” the department said on its website.