On this week’s podcast, experts discuss the state’s plan to lift most Covid restrictions by July 4.
The newest surge in cases has migrated to Orleans and Caledonia counties, both of which reported a high number of towns in the top category of case numbers compared to their population.
The options outlined Friday at the governor’s regular press conference will include academic programming, meant to compensate for a year of mostly remote schooling. It also will feature recreation, arts, nature and other enrichment activities.
While Phil Scott’s plan to loosen Covid-19 restrictions could encourage people to get vaccinations, public health researchers say the coming weeks still hold many unknowns.
Under the four-phase plan, unvaccinated travelers will no longer need to quarantine starting April 9, and all gathering limits will be lifted by July 4.
Burlington in particular is cause for concern. The city passed the 2,000-case mark this week, reporting 2,110 cases in total, a 21% increase in two weeks.
At his Friday press conference, however, Gov. Phil Scott said that because of rising cases he was putting off his expected announcement of a ‘blueprint’ for a broader reopening.
Both the vaccination rate and Covid-19 cases continue to rise, creating a contradiction that clouds the question: Is Vermont ready to reopen?
State Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso says that while herd immunity is a goal, the state is focused on getting as many people vaccinated as they can.
‘BIPOC Vermonters stand out and don’t want to be accused of cutting the line, so they are trying to follow the rules and guidance, and it’s not easy,’ said state Sen. Kesha Ram.
The state set its one-day record for Covid cases Friday, with 251 cases, then followed that up with a one-day total of 240 cases, one of the highest in Vermont’s experience with the pandemic.
The report was prepared before Vermont reported a new high in case counts on Friday, with record-breaking levels in Chittenden and Rutland counties.
At a press conference Friday, Health Commissioner Mark Levine said half of the cases announced in the last two weeks were in people under 30.
None of the Covid vaccines approved by the federal government are currently recommended for children younger than 16, which makes life for families uncertain.