Health Care

Vermont reports 141 new Covid cases and 1 new death

Updated at 5:22 p.m.

Vermont reported 141 new Covid-19 cases and one new death on Friday.

The state also increased Thursday’s total cases to 106, from the 101 initially reported. Case counts have recently been retroactively increased on a daily basis.

According to the state Department of Health, 30 people were hospitalized with the virus, with nine of those people in intensive care. Three more were hospitalized with suspected cases.

The state reported one new death in the 70-79 age group. Six people have died from the virus so far in September, and 284 have died throughout the pandemic.

The seven-day average test positivity rate was 3.2%.

The state’s vaccine dashboard, also updated Friday, shows 86.7% of eligible residents have received at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68.4% of the state’s total population is fully vaccinated.

Breakthroughs and outbreaks

The health department also published new data Friday on the spread of Covid-19, including the only regular release of information on the vaccination status of new cases. The data summary, published every two weeks, includes information related to cases reported through Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The state reported 694 new cases among fully vaccinated Vermonters over the two-week reporting period, while 1,312 new cases were reported among those not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.

Health officials have repeatedly emphasized that, since vaccinations began, breakthrough cases have involved only a small percentage of the vaccinated population. Since January, 0.43% of the vaccinated population has been infected, up from the 0.27% reported two weeks ago.

The rate of breakthrough cases is expected to increase in part because the number of Vermonters who have been vaccinated is increasing every day. 

New cases among the fully vaccinated population are now rising at a slower rate than among the unvaccinated population. In the last week of available data, unvaccinated people were roughly 4.6 times more likely to contract Covid-19 than fully vaccinated people. In previous weeks, that ratio hovered around 3.5.

Fully vaccinated Vermonters accounted for 21 out of 68 hospitalizations and eight out of 10 deaths over the two-week reporting period. (Hospitalizations and deaths occur more frequently among older Vermonters, who are also more likely to have other health conditions.)

The health department data summary also provides a glimpse at the rising number of outbreaks in Vermont, defined as three or more cases from a single setting. There were 47 active outbreaks as of Sept. 8, up from 30 in the reporting period ending Aug. 27.

New cases associated with outbreaks were reported in five types of settings:

  • Congregate care: 77 new cases among residents, 26 new cases among staff
  • Schools and child care: 50 new among children and staff
  • Workplaces or businesses: 46 new
  • Health care settings: 21 new
  • Community, referring to social gatherings or events: 165 new

The health department has released details on some of these outbreaks via other reports. 

Data on cases in schools, which also includes cases not specifically associated with outbreaks, is now updated every Tuesday. The first report of the school year, released this week, showed 81 cases in which a person was infectious while inside a school.

Data on long-term care facilities, updated Tuesday, showed outbreaks in seven facilities: Ethan Allen Residence, Vermont Veterans’ Home, Cedar Hill Skilled Nursing Facility, Mansfield Place, Vernon Green Nursing Home, Harbor Village and Vernon Hall Assisted Living. 

The “community” category includes at least 65 cases attributed to a wedding in Plainfield, according to an analysis presented by Health Commissioner Mark Levine at Tuesday’s Covid-19 press briefing.

10% of Black Vermonters have gotten Covid, data shows

The latest data also provides a glimpse at continuing racial disparities among who gets Covid-19 in Vermont — and those disparities are particularly glaring for Black Vermonters. 

An estimated 10% of Black Vermonters have tested positive for Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the department’s latest report. That’s compared to 4% of white Vermonters. Asian, Hispanic and Vermonters of “other” race also have higher Covid-19 rates than white Vermonters.

Black Vermonters are reporting more new cases per capita than any other racial group. Their rate increased 40 percentage points in the past two weeks, compared to 32 percentage points for white Vermonters.

According to the report, the disparity among all BIPOC — Black, Indigenous and people of color — compared to white Vermonters was highest during the winter surge and has lessened since then.

Vaccination data shows that BIPOC Vermonters still have a lower vaccination rate than white Vermonters, with 75.6% of BIPOC Vermonters over 12 starting the process compared to 78% of white Vermonters 12 and older.

The divide in vaccinations is highest among Vermonters 65 and older. Ninety-five percent of white Vermonters in that age group have at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to 89% of BIPOC Vermonters in the same category.

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Mike Dougherty

About Mike

Mike Dougherty is VTDigger’s digital editor. He is a DC-area native and studied journalism and music at New York University. Prior to joining VTDigger, Mike spent two years as a program coordinator for the Vermont Humanities Council. Before moving to Vermont in 2015, he spent seven years managing recording operations for the oral history nonprofit StoryCorps, assisted Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas, and contributed to the Brooklyn-based alt-weekly L Magazine.

Email: [email protected]

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