Health Care

Vermont reports 140 new Covid cases Monday, updates breakthrough and outbreak stats

Vermont reported 140 new Covid-19 cases Monday, in addition to the 257 new cases reported Saturday and 265 cases reported Sunday. Monday data tends to show relatively fewer cases because of patterns in testing results.

The seven-day average has remained between 200 cases per day and 220 cases per day within the past week and now stands at 218.

That places Vermont as the 17th-highest state in the nation for its recent Covid-19 case rate with 35 cases per 100,000 people. It sits below Maine and New Hampshire but above New York and Massachusetts. 

Vermont ranks sixth in the nation for its 14-day change in cases, which have increased 5% over that time period. Maine and New Hampshire cases have both increased 9% in the past two weeks.

By contrast, Vermont has the fifth-lowest hospitalization rate of any state in the nation. Forty-seven people are currently in Vermont hospitals with the virus, including 13 in the ICU. Two more people await Covid-19 test results.

No new deaths have been reported since Wednesday. In total, 351 people have died of Covid-19 in Vermont since the beginning of the pandemic.

Breakthrough cases and outbreaks

Longer term health department data shows persistent rates of breakthrough cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Every two weeks, the department publishes a data summary with information on case demographics, clinical outcomes and outbreaks. It is also the only regular release of data on the vaccination status of infected Vermonters. 

The report is typically available Fridays, but an internal issue last week delayed the latest report until Saturday. The new summary includes cases recorded through Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The state reported 1,127 new breakthrough cases — infections among fully vaccinated people — over the two-week reporting period. 

Health officials have said breakthrough cases are to be expected, given that Vermont has a large and expanding fully vaccinated population, and the vaccines primarily aim to prevent severe illness and death as opposed to stopping all infections. 

Breakthrough cases should also be analyzed as a proportion of the total vaccinated population. Over the two-week reporting period, cases occurred in 244 out of 100,000 vaccinated Vermonters. That’s compared to 1,085 out of 100,000 people who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown. 

Unvaccinated people were 4.4 times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated people over the two-week reporting period.

The state also reported 29 new hospitalizations and 12 new deaths among vaccinated people, compared with 44 new hospitalizations and 11 new deaths among unvaccinated people. 

Using the same calculation as above to adjust for the size of Vermont’s overall vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, the numbers indicate that unvaccinated people were 3.9 times more likely to be hospitalized and 2.4 times more likely to die from Covid-19 over the two-week period.

The health department data summary also provides a glimpse of the rising number of outbreaks in Vermont, defined as three or more cases from a single setting. There were 110 active outbreaks as of Oct. 20, up from 90 in the reporting period ending Oct. 6.

New cases associated with outbreaks were reported over the two-week period in five types of settings:

  • Congregate care: 53 new cases among residents, 16 new cases among staff.
  • Health care settings: 4 new cases.
  • Schools and child care: 245 new cases among children and staff.
  • Workplaces or businesses: 69 new cases.
  • Community, referring to social gatherings or events: 64 new cases.

The health department reports separately on cases in long-term care facilities and schools every Tuesday. 

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Erin Petenko

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