State News

Covid levels rise on western side of Vermont

Staff report

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC reported that five counties, all located on the western side of the state bordering New York, had their Covid levels rise from “low” to “medium” as of Thursday, Feb. 2; and Rutland County rose to “high” levels. 

Other Covid metrics showed signs of an increase, too, such as the state’s hospital admissions, which ticked up from 41 to 48 over the past week, the state department of health reported.

The department reported 41 people were hospitalized for Covid as of Wednesday, Feb. 1, including eight in intensive care; and 501 Covid cases were reported, which is up from 455 the week before. 

Case counts, however, are a much less reliable indicator than they were earlier in the pandemic as PCR tests are harder to access. Covid case data does not include at-home antigen testing, so an actual count of cases can no longer be known. 

The department also reported five more Covid deaths for January, bringing that month’s total to 17, compared with 20 in December. January’s total may continue to rise, as the department often reports Covid deaths retroactively as death certificates are completed. In total, 894 people in Vermont have died of Covid since the beginning of the pandemic.

The latest update shows that Burlington’s wastewater plants did reportedly return to normal levels of the Covid virus in their samples as of Jan. 23, after reporting a record-high spike the previous week. But other wastewater collection sites reported varying Covid levels for the same time period, according to the CDC.

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