Vermont COVID numbers down, but hospitalizations, age up
The number of new cases of COVID-19 cases reported in Vermont has been fewer than 10 per day for almost three weeks, but the number of people being hospitalized with the disease is up as is the median age of people being infected, officials said Tuesday.
Even though the number of hospitalizations has increased from a seven-day average of 1.64 on June 13 to 4.21 on Monday, Vermont continues to have the lowest per-capita hospitalization rate in the country, according to the statistics released at Gov. Phil Scott’s weekly news conference.
In mid-May, the median age for those being infected was about 25. On Tuesday the figure was just under 40.
Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said he had no immediate explanation for the increase in hospitalizations or why the age is going up. Even though the numbers are up, they are still small enough so that it is difficult to draw statistically significant conclusions from them.
“We are literally going from one or two cases a day to five or six cases a day,” he said.
But Vermont continues to lead the country in a variety of statistics, including the percent of the eligible population — people over aged 12 — having received at least the first dose of the vaccine, at 81.9%, fully vaccinated at 72.3% and 63.8% of the full population, including those under 12, being fully vaccinated.
Despite the high vaccination numbers, Vermont is continuing to offer walk-in vaccination clinics across the state.
INFORMATION CENTERS REOPENING
All 16 Vermont Information Centers have reopened to travelers after being closed at the start of the pandemic.
The centers have restrooms, brochures about Vermont businesses and attractions and vending machines for travelers in most facilities, the state department of Buildings and General Services said Monday. Coffee service is also expected to resume in the coming weeks, the department said.
“We’re excited to be able to provide these services again across the state,” said Commissioner Jennifer Fitch. “Like any other business restarting, it will take time to get every element fully operational, but we now feel we can provide a positive experience for the travelling public and a safe workplace for our employees, and we are looking forward to welcoming people from around the world back to Vermont.”
The Bennington, Fair Haven, Guilford, Hartford, Sharon, Waterford, and Williston centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, while centers in Bradford, Derby, Georgia, Lyndonville and Randolph are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On Tuesday the Vermont Department of Health reported four new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to just over 24,400.
There were six people hospitalized, none in intensive care.
The number of deaths remains at 256.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 7 new cases per day on June 13 to 4.86 new cases per day on June 27.