BENNINGTON — While Bennington County’s incidence of new COVID-19 cases remains elevated, new cases in other parts of the state grow even faster, especially among younger Vermonters.
According to data released Friday by the Vermont Department of Health, 238 new cases were reported across the state in the past 24 hours, with 42 hospitalized and 15 of those in intensive care.
Bennington County’s 199 new cases in the past 14 days marks a decrease from the 217 cases in 14 days reported a week ago. Meanwhile, other counties in all regions of the state, from the Northeast Kingdom and Franklin County to the Upper Valley and greater Rutland, surged past Bennington County in reports of new cases, state data shows.
Chittenden County, at 646 new cases in 14 days, is far and away the most affected region of the state, with Rutland County (332 cases in 14 days), Orleans County (319), Washington County (297), Windsor County (251), and Franklin County (228) all now showing significant growth.
Windham County reported 162 new cases in the past 14 days, with 32 new cases Friday.
The statewide seven-day COVID positivity rate now stands at 3.2 percent, and Vermont’s death toll now stands at 304 — 0.9 percent of all cases.
According to CovidActNow.org, Bennington County has 41.1 new cases per 100,000 people and a positive test rate of 4 percent. The website also reports an infection rate of 0.94, meaning on average, each COVID-positive person in the county is infecting 0.94 other people. “Because this number is around 1.0, it means that COVID continues to spread at about a constant rate,” the website states, deeming Bennington County a “very high” risk.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control rated Bennington County as “high” for community transmission, and recommends everyone wear a mask in public, indoor settings. The CDC reported the county’s COVID positivity at 3.61 percent.
According to the Department of Health’s weekly data summary, between Sept. 15 to 22, the highest rate per 10,000 was among Vermonters ages 9 and under, at 42.7 per 10,000. The next highest age ranges for that time period are youth ages 10 to 19 (37.3), Vermonters ages 20 to 29 (34.3) and 30 to 39 (32.9).
The data summary also noted that 23 percent of Vermont’s COVID cases are among youth, but 21 percent of that number are 18 or 19 years old.
About 446,306 people have been fully vaccinated in Vermont. So-called “breakthrough cases” of COVID among the vaccinated represent 0.6 percent of the fully vaccinated population, the Health Department said. Bennington County’s vaccination rate is 82.6 percent of those eligible with at least one dose. Windham County was reported at 80.9 percent with at least one dose.
The state reported that 87.5 percent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of the three approved COVID vaccines.