By Ethan Weinstein
Despite another week of record high case counts, hospitalized Covid patients, and patients needing ICU treatment, Governor Phil Scott and his Covid team will not make any substantive policy changes to stop the spread of the virus.
“We need to continue to watch hospitalizations,” Scott said, not specifying when, if ever, Vermont’s unprecedented Covid surge would merit new mitigation measures.
In the past week, cases in Vermont have risen 54%. On Saturday, Dec. 4, the state posted a record 641 new cases. As of Dec. 7, the 7-day case average is 485, an all-time high.
As hospitals — including Rutland Regional Medical Center — are operating at or near capacity, AHS Secretary Mike Smith said that the state is looking to get a contract from FEMA for increased paramedic and EMT staff. It remains to be seen whether Vermont will be granted the increased federal support.
Administration messaging sought to advance the claim that the current Covid surge is merely a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” As of Dec. 7, 74% of hospitalized Covid patients were unvaccinated.
While children continue to drive Vermont’s case count, the youngest demographic saw an uptick in vaccination. Sec. Smith said that 47% of Vermonters ages 5-11 have received their first Covid shot or are scheduled to receive it.
Locally, Rutland County continues to be a hot spot for Covid cases. Rutland County reported 67 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the 14-day case total to 842. Meanwhile, Windsor County reported 53 new cases on Dec. 7, with 684 cases in the last 14 days.