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As COVID-19 activity decreases in Vermont, the state’s dashboard will now be updated Monday through Friday only, the Department of Health announced Thursday. Data from Saturday and Sunday will be included when the dashboard is updated on Mondays, the department said.

In addition, the COVID-19 Update newsletter, until now issued daily, will be reduced to Tuesdays and Thursdays, weekly starting next week.

LAWMAKERS SAY ZOOM SESSIONS WILL CONTINUE

After an historic legislative session with remote lawmaking, Vermont legislators say online Zoom sessions will continue in some form after the pandemic.

Many committee rooms lack adequate airflow, so the Statehouse likely won’t reopen to full capacity, lawmakers said. A committee is looking at options, including using other spaces in the capitol complex, WCAX-TV reported.

“We may not be voting via Zoom, but access for committee rooms, access for the public in far-reaching corners of the state — that system will always be there,” Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia County, said Wednesday.

Legislators are also testing 360-degree cameras so Vermonters can watch in-person committee hearings from afar in the months ahead.

BURLINGTON TO LIFT EMERGENCY ORDER

Vermont’s largest city will lift its pandemic-related emergency order on June 15.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the city has done what’s needed to significantly slow the spread of the coronavirus virus, WPTZ-TV reported. But he said more work is needed once the order is gone.

The emergency order has been in place since March 16, 2020.

“We will continue our commitment of ending any threat of a false spike and a return to a pandemic by continuing through the summer to push for the deployment of vaccines,” the mayor said. “We will also be working at executing an equitable economic recovery.”

EIGHT NEW CASES REPORTED

The health department reported eight new cases of COVID-19 in Vermont on Thursday. The state’s cumulative total since the start of the pandemic is now 24,240.

Six of the new cases were in Chittenden County. Addison and Caledonia counties each had one new case.

No Vermonters died of COVID-19 over the past day, the health department reported Wednesday. The state’s death toll remains at 255. Vermont has not had a COVID-related death since May 16.

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Three Vermonters were hospitalized with the disease, with none of those patients in intensive care.

So far, 394,682 people have been tested. The reported statewide seven-day average for positive tests is steady at .09 percent.

The number of Vermonters reported to have recovered from COVID-19 is now 23,208, an increase of 51 since Wednesday.

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.

COUNTY STILL AT ‘MEDIUM RISK’

In Bennington County, the seven-day average of daily new cases per 100,000 residents has risen a fraction to 2.8, while the infection rate, up slightly to 0.64, shows that active cases are decreasing, the nonprofit Covid ActNow reported Wednesday. A positive test rate of .09 percent indicates widespread testing.

In Windham County, the seven-day average has fallen to 1.7 daily new cases. The county’s infection rate, unchanged at 0.73, shows that COVID-19 on the decrease, and a positive test rate of 0.9 percent shows widespread testing.

Chittenden County has joined Franklin and Orange counties in the low-risk category, the lowest ranking on the scale, while the remainder of the state is still medium-risk.

All of the counties bordering Bennington and Windham county in New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are now considered medium risk.

Bennington County has reported 13 new cases over the past two weeks, and Windham County has reported 17. Chittenden County, Vermont’s largest county, has had 33 over the same period.

VACCINATION RATE UP TO 78.5

As of Thursday, 78.5 percent of all Vermonters age 12 and older had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. When the state reaches an 80 percent vaccination rate, Gov. Phil Scott has promised to lift the state’s remaining coronavirus-related restrictions. The state has calculated that another 8,226 Vermonters will need to get their shots to hit that mark.

The vaccination rate is 73.6 percent for Bennington County, and 69.7 percent for Windham County. Chittenden leads all Vermont counties, at 81.2 percent.

To date, Vermont has received 897,800 doses of vaccine, 84.7 percent of which have been administered.

A number of walk-in vaccination clinics are now available across the state. For an updated list, visit https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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