Essex County continues to lag behind the rest of Vermont, even as the state approaches the 80% threshold to reopen.
The future’s looking good for most Vermont communities on the verge of a full reopening, Department of Health data shows.
Vermont reported only two communities in the highest category of Covid-19 case rates in the past two weeks, the fewest communities in that category since at least December.
Cases fell in 13 of Vermont’s 14 counties last week; the exception was Lamoille County, where the town of Johnson reported a spike.
The latest data from the Department of Health shows many areas of the state are recovering from the latest Covid surge that hit hard when it arrived in March.
Covid-19 variants are spreading in 10 of Vermont’s 14 counties, with Chittenden leading the state. That could be because the variants are driving case surges there, but it could also mean that higher case numbers in recent weeks have made the variant easier to detect.
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.
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.
While Stowe’s Covid cases are slowing down, cases are rising near other ski areas, namely Killington, Stratton and Burke. A handful of other northern Vermont communities were in the top category as well.
Although Vermont officials have discussed the risk of correctional staff members bringing Covid into facilities, some research suggests that cases can go in the other direction, as well, as prison outbreaks spread into their surrounding communities.
None of the 25 towns with the highest cumulative case total had an increase in cases above 20%, a potential sign of Vermont’s dropping cases in the latest surge.
Bennington now ranks second in total cases throughout the pandemic with 583 cases, edging Barre City, which has had 504 cases. Burlington remains the top community with 1,411 cases.
Several towns in southern Vermont were rated in the highest category as well, showing the continuing toll of the virus as Bennington and Rutland slowly recover from their latest surge in cases.
Case counts are going down in Bennington County, in line with declines in the rest of Vermont.