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The Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union has been notified of a positive test of COVID-19 within the Mount Anthony Union High School learning community. The school will remain open for hybrid in-person learning, Superintendent James Culkeen said.

“In keeping with Vermont Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, our team took immediate steps to isolate the situation. We are working closely with local and state officials to ensure our community remains safe and healthy,” Culkeen said in a statement issued Wednesday night.

He said that those affected have been contacted.

After meeting with the Vermont Department of Health, all close contacts were determined and notified. Trained maintenance staff have engaged in a thorough sanitation process of all surfaces within the affected spaces.

MASS. GOV. BAKER URGED TO REINSTATE RESTRICTIONS

In Massachusetts, where the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen to over 2,100 new cases per day, the Massachusetts Public Health Association called on Republican Gov. Charlie Baker to reinstate public health measures. The group urged Baker to limit indoor dining capacity and other indoor activities, saying the rise in cases and hospitalizations followed Baker’s decision to loosen those restrictions.

“We are currently in a race between the vaccines and the variants,” Carlene Pavlos, the group’s executive director said Thursday. “Without these public health measures, even more innocent lives will be needlessly lost.”

Nations around the world set new records Thursday for COVID-19 deaths and new coronavirus infections, and the disease surged even in some countries that have kept the virus in check. In the United States, Michigan has averaged more than 7,000 new cases a day.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain is now the most common variant in the United States, raising concerns it will drive infections and cause more people to get sick.

THE NUMBERS

The Department of Health reported 222 new cases of COVID-19 in Vermont on Thursday, a sharp increase from the past several days. The reported total number of cases since the start of the pandemic was 20,669, which is 227 higher than Wednesday’s total.

No Vermonters died of COVID-19 over the past day, the health department reported. The state’s death toll stands at 230.

Thirty Vermonters were hospitalized with the disease as of Thursday, and six of those patients were in intensive care.

All of Vermont’s 14 counties reported new cases over the past day. Chittenden County had 92; Orleans County had 25; Orange County had 15; Caledonia and Rutland counties each had 14; Franklin County had 13; Bennington County had nine; Lamoille, Washington and Windham counties each had eight; Windsor County had seven; Grand Isle County had five; and Addison and Essex counties each had two.

Bennington County’s number of active cases has fallen to 38.76 per 10,000 residents, while the statewide average is also down, to 47.42. Windham County’s numbers are down, too, to 27.73 active cases per 10,000 residents. The hottest spots in the state continue to be Orleans and Caledonia counties, with 101.69 and 81.12 active cases per 10,000 residents, respectively. In the Northeast, New Jersey’s Sussex County continues to have the highest numbers, falling slightly to 133.12.

Bennington County has reported 106 new cases over the past two weeks, and Windham County has reported 91. Chittenden County, Vermont’s largest county, has had 897 over the same period.

Bennington County continues to have the highest infection rate of COVID-19 in Vermont, at 488.9 cases per 10,000 residents since the beginning of the pandemic. Chittenden County is second, at 405.0, while the rate in Windham County is 270.6 per 10,000.

So far, 363,146 people have been tested. The reported statewide seven-day average for positive tests has dipped to 2.1 percent, while Bennington County’s rate is up to 2.7 percent.

The number of Vermonters reported to have recovered from COVID-19 has risen by 242, to 16,940.

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.

BENNINGTON, WINDHAM COUNTIES REMAIN AT ‘HIGH RISK’

With a seven-day average of daily new cases per 100,000 residents rising to 24.2, Bennington County remains in the “high risk” range, according to the nonprofit Covid Act Now. Windham County, where the seven-day average has fallen to 15.9 daily new cases, is considered high risk as well.

Among Vermont’s neighbors, Berkshire County in Massachusetts and Rensselaer County in New York remain rated as very high risk, while New York’s Washington County, Franklin County in Massachusetts and Cheshire County in New Hampshire are rated as high risk.

43.6% OF VERMONTERS NOW VACCINATED

The Department of Health reported that 238,978 Vermonters, or 43.6 percent of all those over the age of 16, had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday.

According to the state, 149,600 people have completed their vaccination, and 89,400 have received a first dose.

In Bennington County, 48.5 percent of residents have received vaccine, and in Windham County, 40.0.

So far, the state has received 465,100 doses of vaccine, 81.2 percent of which have been administered.


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