Health Care

Orleans County has highest Covid-19 rate in Northeast

Note: This story is more than a week old. Given how quickly the Covid-19 pandemic is evolving, we recommend that you read our latest coverage here.

Orleans County has entered its fourth week of a surge that has often placed it highest in the state for its rate of Covid-19 case spread.

The county reported 419 cases in the past two weeks and about 1,300 cases since the beginning of the Delta surge, roughly doubling its cumulative case count since the beginning of the pandemic.

Orleans County has the highest Covid-19 rate east of the Mississippi River, according to New York Times data. Nearby Caledonia County and Coos County in New Hampshire also are among the highest concentrations of infections in the Northeast.

Orleans has a positivity rate of 9.3%, more than triple the statewide average, according to Centers for Disease Control data. It reports that there have been six new hospital admissions for Covid-19 within the past week in Orleans, although it’s unclear if that includes Orleans residents hospitalized in other counties.

Vermont releases limited data on the demographics of cases in specific counties. However, cumulative data shows Orleans residents ages 10 to 19 years old have been the biggest age group infected, while 20- to 29-year-olds are the leading age group statewide.

The state also does not report county-level data on cases among unvaccinated and vaccinated Vermonters. It does show that Orleans has the third-lowest vaccination rate in the state, above Essex and Caledonia counties.

Data from the Department of Health also shows the heavy toll of the virus on many of Orleans’ communities. Seven of the top 10 cities and towns in the state with the highest rate are in Orleans County, led by Lowell and Newport City. Lowell has more than doubled its cumulative case count in the past two weeks.

Barre City in Washington County, Washington in Orange County and Tinmouth in Rutland County also ranked in the top 10.

Check out the table above to see your community’s data, or use the Department of Health map to analyze geographic patterns in case counts.

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Erin Petenko

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