Covid-19 updates

Covid cases begin to decline, hospitalizations remain high

Staff report

Covid-19 cases remain elevated in Vermont, with the daily number of new infections averaging 1,121 cases over the last 7 days. The state reported 8,135 new cases this week, 2,878 fewer cases compared to last week, a decrease of 27%, but it was still the third highest week for case counts ever.

During this time, week-over-week PCR testing also fell, with the 7-day average decreasing 17%.

This week Vermont hit another grim milestone: there have now been over 100,000 confirmed infections (100,092 as of Tuesday, Jan. 25).

According to the department of financial regulation (DFR) modeling report, Jan. 25: “The CDC Ensemble model predicts Vermont can expect lower Covid counts in the coming weeks; decreases in hospitalizations and deaths will lag falling cases.”

Currently, however, hospitals statewide report high numbers of Covid patients and reduced staffing. Unvaccinated Vermonters occupy a majority of hospital beds, despite being in the minority (98.8% of Vermonters, ages 12 plus, are partially or fully vaccinated and 58% of Vermont children aged 5-11 have received at least one dose as of Jan. 25). Hospitalizations, which are always a lagging indicator, are expected to start declining over the next week as cases fall.

Recent Vermont data points to Omicron’s lower severity, with those hospitalized for the virus now requiring fewer days in the hospital than with previous variants, according to DFR. Vermont per capita Covid hospitalizations are also tracking substantially below other states in the region, with the third-lowest rate in the U.S.

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