VDH: COVID cases decline with no deaths in September

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported on Sept. 7 that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have decreased and are still considered “low.” The total number of cases for the week fell by 51 to 494. Hospitalizations fell from 58 to 35, but were still slightly higher than two weeks ago (30). Most cases are in people in their 20s, and the highest rate is in those over 80. The BA.5 variant has become the predominant variant of COVID-19.

There were 19 COVID-related deaths in August and none so far in September, for a pandemic total of 715 (VDH report may be updated as more data becomes available). Vermont already has the lowest COVID death rate in the nation at 113 per 100,000 population.

There were 12 deaths from COVID in Vermont in both June and July. June and July had the fewest deaths from COVID since July 2021 (2). The Delta variant then flew in August 2021.

With the September 1st approval of the new Omicron booster, you can no longer get the existing boosters. The new Omicron boosters are now available via state reception clinics and some pharmacies and will become more available in the coming weeks.

Vermonters are reminded that all statewide COVID testing sites have been closed since June 25th. PCR and take-home tests will be available at doctors’ offices, pharmacies and by mail from the federal government. See more information BELOW or here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/testing

Summary of the current monitoring report:

Vermont’s community level of COVID-19 is LOW.

All of the following indicators are in LOW range:

  • Rate of cases of COVID-19
  • Rate of COVID-19 among people admitted to hospital
  • Percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID-19

The number of people going to emergency rooms due to COVID-like symptoms is flat after several weeks of decline.

There is nothing immediately alarming about Vermont’s wastewater data, which typically show weekly variations but generally remain significantly lower than spring 2022.

Outbreaks and emergencies in long-term care, corrections and healthcare facilities remain significantly lower than in May.

The Department of Health has updated its definition of Current Vaccination Status to align with the CDC—people who have received all recommended vaccine doses for which they are eligible. The current numbers now reflect Vermonters age 50+ who received a second booster and those ages 5 to 11 who received a booster. Because of this change, the overall percentage of Vermonters who are current has decreased.

Report timeframe: 28 August to 3 September 2022

Nationwide Community Levels: Low. For this seven-day reporting period, the rate of new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Vermonters is below 200. New admissions for COVID-19 are below 10 per 100,000 Vermonters per day, and the rate of staffed hospital beds , occupied by COVID-19 is below 10%.
• New cases of COVID-19, last 7 days: 79.17 per 100,000 (last week, 87.34)
o Weekly number of cases: 494 (down from previous week, 545)
• New hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19, last 7 days: 5.61 per 100K (last week, 9.30)
o a total of 35 new admissions with COVID-19 (down from the previous week, 58)
• Percentage of staffed hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 (7-day average): 3.18% (down from previous week, 3.89%)

Vermont Department of Health Recommendations: Protect yourself and others

CDC Guidelines: COVID-19 by County | CDC

There were 49 deaths related to COVID-19 in Vermont in September 2021 and 47 deaths in October, the fifth and sixth worst months on record. There were 42 deaths in November, 62 in December and 65 in January 2022, 59 in February, 17 in March, 19 in April and 32 in May as deaths rose at the start of the month before falling. There were 12 deaths in June and 12 in July. There were 19 COVID-related deaths in August and none so far in September.

The delta variant caused a spike in COVID-related deaths last fall and winter. More than half of all deaths overall were Vermonters over 80.

While the highest concentration of deaths was from September 2021 to February 2022, December 2020 was the worst month with 71.

Vermont has the lowest death rate in the US (113 per 100,000), recently surpassing Hawaii (115/100,000). Mississippi (429/100K) and Arizona (427/100K) are the highest. There have been a total of 1,049,749 COVID-related deaths so far in the US and 6,510,110 worldwide.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said the BA.5 variant is highly transmissible and has caused a spike in cases and hospitalizations across the country; the northeast has seen the smallest increase.

The state has set up reception clinics for the new, reconfigured vaccines and boosters. They are now open. See the list HERE. The CDC gave approval for the new Omicron vaccines on August 31. The highly contagious, though less dangerous variants BA.4 and BA.5 became dominant this year.

Dr. Levin believes that vaccines against the COVID virus will likely be an annual event, similar to how there is an annual flu vaccine that is configured for the specific active strains.

The updated booster is for people 12 years of age and older who have completed their main series of COVID-19 vaccines and received their last booster or extra dose at least two months ago. Look for Pfizer Bivalent Booster 12+ and Moderna Bivalent Booster 18+ in the list of receiving clinics. Bivalent boosters are also available in some pharmacies in the state starting this week. Contact pharmacies directly for details on available products and schedule. The boosters will arrive in doctor’s offices in the coming weeks.

1 All Vermont hospitals and two urgent care clinics are included in ESSENCE.

TESTING

report self-test results

How to get tested in Vermont

Home antigen tests (also called rapid tests or self-tests) meet many testing needs and are widely available at pharmacies across the state and at online retailers.

  • Buy online or in pharmacies and stores: Some health insurance plans may cover the cost of home tests. You may be able to show your insurance card at the pharmacy and get test kits for you free of charge. Some health plans may require you to pay for the tests and then be reimbursed. Learn more about insurance coverage
  • Order free tests through COVID.gov: Any US home can order a third round of FREE home tests shipped directly to them. Order free tests at COVID.gov
  • Contact your healthcare provider: Medical practices may offer other options for testing for COVID-19.

HELP Getting Tests

If you are unable to obtain antigen tests at home from the options above, you may call the Health Department at 802-863-7200 or consult with your local health office.

Community nonprofits can qualify for free home tests by mail if they work with Vermonters who may have difficulty obtaining tests due to systemic inequities. This includes Vermonters who are Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC), speak languages ​​other than English, experience homelessness, have a disability or other groups. Please email [email protected]

Food shelves, libraries and community agencies interested in distributing at-home COVID-19 testing in their community can also email [email protected]

If you are at home, you can get a PCR test at home. Homebound means you cannot leave your home for scheduled medical care or non-medical appointments. Call 802-863-7200 (toll free 800-464-4343), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Translated videos on where to get tests from the Vermont Language Justice Project: ASL | Arabic (Arabic) | Myanmar (Burmese) | Dari | English | Français (French) | Kirundi | Maay Maay | Mandarin | नेपाली (Nepali) | (Pashto) | Soomai (Somalia) | Español (Spanish) | Kiswahili (Swahili) | Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)

EXPIRY DATE OF THE TEST KIT

The validity periods of many tests have been extended. Check the information below for new dates by brand:

FDA test information.
Check out Intrivo on/go tests.
Check iHealth tests.
Check out the FlowFlex tests.

When to get tested

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 ─ even if the symptoms are mild and even if you have previously had COVID-19. Test as soon as possible.
  • If you are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you are not vaccinated or are not up to date on your vaccines. Learn more about when close contacts should be tested.

If you test positive and are 65 or older or have a medical condition that may put you at risk, contact your healthcare provider to ask about treatment – as soon as you get a positive test result. Learn more about treatment.

Find tips and learn more from the CDC about self-testing

Learn about test types

Antigen test at home

  • It is approved for ages 2+.
  • It is best when two tests are taken at least 24 hours apart.
  • Must be used if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days. Other types of tests, such as PCR, may still give a positive result because of your previous infection.

PCR test

  • It is approved for all ages, including under 2 years.
  • It may be available at your doctor’s office.

Test instructions and translations

Report your results

If there is no option to automatically report the result of your self-test, please report the results (positive or negative) to the Department of Health using our online form. Your response is confidential, and reporting your test result helps the Department of Health understand how many Vermonters are being tested for COVID-19 and how the virus is spreading in our communities.

Report your COVID-19 test results

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