VRN: CDC promotes Vermont testing program

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VRN: CDC promotes Vermont testing program

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 4:16am -- tim

CDC promotes Vermont testing program

On the 8th of May, the Vermont Department of Health instituted a policy whereby those who had been exposed to COVID-19 who were in quarantine could leave early if they tested negative after 7 days.  A study conducted by the CDC found that this method was effective at catching COVID-19 among asymptomatic people in quarantine, while also allowing people who were not infected to get back to their normal lives sooner. They suggested that other states should consider this policy.

New Technology for Monitoring Bird Populations

Gathering specific data on bird populations can be difficult, since their rapid movement and ability to hide in foliage make consistent observation impossible. A newly developed technology called an acoustic recording unit uses algorithms to detect different birdsongs. This technology was recently tested in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park in Vermont, to examine the presence of the Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens). The device was able to provide significantly more accurate data.

Medical Center provides alternative to general anesthesia for infants

General anesthesia, which uses a combination of gasses and intravenous drugs to put a patient into a sleep-like state, is the most common form of sedation for infants. The UVM Medical Center has recently begun using an alternative, known as spinal anesthesia. This method dates back to the 1890s and involves applying an anesthetic directly to the spinal cord. It has been found to increase cardiovascular and respiratory stability in patients undergoing surgery, and decrease risks of complications resulting from the anesthetic, while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that general anesthesia produces.

Incarcerated voters impact on elections
Vermont and Maine are currently the only states that allow incarcerated people to vote. A recent MIT study looked at the voting statistics for states across the US to examine the potential impact on elections if more incarcerated people were allowed to vote, finding minimal impact.  In Vermont in 2016, 92 prisoners voted in the presidential election and 80 in 2018. UVM Ryan Joseph student analyzed data from the 2020 election, finding 72 prisoners voted. Considering Vermont's high turnout rates (65% of eligible voters turned out in 2016 and 55% in 2018), this level of voter turnout among prisoners would not change the election results. (llustration by Juli Baldics).

National Guard COVID facility gets positive review
Back in March, when the severity of COVID-19 was just beginning to be realized, the Vermont National Guard established a 50-bed isolation ward to help contain the virus and reduce the strain on Vermont hospitals. The facility demonstrated the National Guard’s ability to mobilize a healthcare facility quickly and safely in a crisis, according to a new article in the Military Medicine Journal. Through significant safety procedures approved by the University of Vermont Division of Infectious Disease, they were able to successfully contain the spread among their patients, such that no staff members were infected. As of November, this facility has been expanded to account for the new surge of cases.

Top Political Research papers and books???
See this recent list of top Vermont history books and articles by the Center for Research on Vermont. What are the top Vermont political science research papers and books??  GIVE US YOUR IDEAS HERE. 

Would you a Vermont Research Student Intern?

Lack of nutrition correlates with risk of falling
A recent study attempted to determine correlations with high fall risk among the elderly, by analyzing data from a health risk assessment survey conducted by the Support and Services at Home organization serving Medicare beneficiaries in Vermont. The data correlates poor nutrition with a 50% higher risk of falling. Interestingly, the data showed little to no correlation between rural living and fall risk among Vermonters.

Trace Elements in Soils and Surface Waters
Trace elements are chemical elements present in tiny amounts within a given environment. They may be sourced from natural geologic processes of weathering, and they may also be the result of agricultural pollution, as well as historical pollution from mills, tanneries, and forges and are especially dangerous to endangered freshwater fish. A recent study measured and sourced trace elements within a few New England watersheds, including the Deerfield River Watershed in southern Vermont and northern Massachusetts. Natural geological processes seemed to explain most of the trace elements present, the authors concluded, although more research is needed.

Food Insecurity and mental health in middle schoolers
A recent survey administered by the Vermont Department of Health to all public middle schoolers in the state, attempted to determine links between food insecurity and mental health issues among children. According to the survey, 3.1% of middle schoolers experience at least some form of food insecurity. Among these students, rates of stress, suicidal ideation, and feelings of isolation are significantly higher. Students who experience food insecurity who participated in school free breakfast programs, and those who felt they had good relationships with their teachers, reported less stress and depression.

Incentives for pro-environment agriculture behaviors

To protect the ecosystem around the Lake Champlain Basin, several programs have been introduced to encourage environmentally-conscious farming in the area, by providing monetary incentives. A recent study has looked at two of these programs, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Both programs could benefit from reduced transaction costs and administrative complexity. The responses of Vermont farmers suggest that if these programs were able to provide better technical assistance, they would both likely see increased participation.

Two-Year Degrees in Vermont
When the nation is in a recession, people seeking post high school education tend to turn to two-year degrees in increasing numbers. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, the nation will likely see another increase in two-year enrollment in the coming years. A recent VSAC study found that two-year programs are vital for low income and first-generation college students. The additional support that the Community College of Vermont provides significantly increased the chances of graduation in students who came out of high school underprepared. Learning from these initiatives can increase student retention and graduation rates, the study found.

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