Health Care

Vermont reports 327 new Covid cases, bringing 7-day average to record high

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Vermont reported 327 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the state’s seven-day average to an all-time pandemic high.

The rolling average of new cases per day receded for more than a week after the previous high of 219 on Sept. 18, but it has now rebounded to 245, according to data from the state Department of Health

Gov. Phil Scott said Tuesday that his administration had been surprised that case numbers have resurged.

“They went back up for whatever reason. I don't know, I wish I had the answer,” he said at his weekly press conference in Montpelier. “I think we all wish we had the answer.”

Omitting a record-high count last month that officials attributed in part to a data glitch, the 327 cases reported Wednesday represent the highest confirmed one-day total since the start of the pandemic.

One data anomaly does appear in Wednesday’s count: 83 cases are listed as “pending validation,” a category that rarely shows more than a handful of cases at a time.

Positive tests typically are assigned to the county in which they are identified, according to Ben Truman, a health department spokesperson. 

“The larger than usual number listed today as pending validation is because the high number of cases means more are still under investigation,” Truman said in an email Wednesday.

Of the cases that were assigned to specific counties, Chittenden and Orleans reported the highest number of new cases Wednesday, with 37 each. But rates of new cases per capita show the Northeast Kingdom counties of Orleans and Essex far outpacing the rest of the state in terms of infections.

As of Oct. 10, both counties were reporting more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. 

Those counties also have the lowest vaccination rates in the state, with 62.1% of eligible people having started vaccination in Essex County and 76% in Orleans, according to the state’s vaccine dashboard

The state reported one new Covid-related death Wednesday, bringing the overall death toll of the pandemic in Vermont to 340. Fifteen deaths have been reported so far for October.

As of Wednesday, 47 people were hospitalized for Covid-19 in Vermont. That’s down from 49 reported Tuesday, a record high for the Delta surge. Wednesday’s data shows 14 people were in intensive care, and one more person was hospitalized with a suspected case.

The seven-day average test positivity rate was 3.1%.

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Mike Dougherty

About Mike

Mike Dougherty is a senior editor at VTDigger leading the politics team. He is a DC-area native and studied journalism and music at New York University. Prior to joining VTDigger, Michael 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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