Health Care

Covid levels remain ‘low’ as testing drops for holiday weekend

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.

Covid-19 community levels were “low” in the past week, according to the latest weekly surveillance report from the Vermont Department of Health. 

The department reported 273 Covid cases in the past week, compared with 293 cases the week before. Covid case data is based primarily on PCR testing, which has declined compared with previous years. At-home antigen tests are not included in the data.

In the past, officials warned that holiday weekends like Thanksgiving’s could throw off data because fewer tests would be reported. The positivity rate of PCR tests rose slightly this week, to 7.6%, compared with 5.6% the week before, and the number of tests performed dropped by about 17%.

Hospitalizations, which tend to be less affected by holiday underreporting, remained mostly flat in the past week. As of Wednesday, the department reported 27 people were in Vermont hospitals for Covid, including four in intensive care.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 12 of Vermont’s 14 counties had “low” Covid levels. Only Bennington and Essex counties reported “medium” levels.

CDC and state community levels are based on case rates, hospital admissions and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by Covid patients.

The health department reported no additional deaths in the past week. In total, 770 people have died in Vermont since the beginning of the pandemic, including 11 so far in November.

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Erin Petenko

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