VDH: COVID hospitalizations down, but six more deaths

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine COVID-19 cases were up and hospitalizations were down last week, but overall, they have remained steady since late summer. There were 6 fatalities reported by the Vermont Department of Health last week, for a pandemic total of 1,061, as of November 18 (the most recent data available). Fatalities have been running at about five per week during the fall, mostly among the very elderly.

The Vermont Department of Health reported November 12, 2023, that COVID-19 hospitalizations fell by 7 to a statewide total of 36 last week. COVID-19 activity remains in the "Low" range, according to the VDH. Reported cases last week were 258, up 25 for the week. Cases were over 300 in late September. 

VDH reported 15 COVID-related deaths in March, 20 in April, 10 in May, 10 in June (these are fewest since the summer of 2021), 11 in July, 15 in August, 17 in September, 25 in October and 7 so far in November (there were 33 in October 2022 and 47 in October 2021 and zero in October 2020, which was the last month since the beginning of the pandemic to record no COVID-related fatalities). 

CDC states that already an estimated 97% of Americans have some level of immunity, from either vaccination or infection or both, which they said will help keep down new transmission and lessen serious outcomes. 

Of the total deaths to date, 851 have been of Vermonters 70 or older. There have been 3 deaths of Vermonters under 30 since the beginning of the pandemic. 

(see data below)

Report Timeframe: November 12 to November 18, 2023

Statewide hospitalization levels: Low. New COVID-19 admissions are below 10 per 100,000 Vermonters per day.

  • New hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19, last 7 days: 5.77 per 100K
  • 36 total new admissions with COVID-19.

The hospitalizations dataset contains day-level data reported from all Vermont hospitals each Tuesday. Reported numbers are subject to correction.

The number of reportable COVID-19 cases is still available in this report, below. Laboratory-confirmed and diagnosed COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 outbreaks must still be reported to the Vermont Department of Health. There were 7 outbreaks last week, 2 at schools, and 4 at long-term care facilities (LTC), and 1 at non-LTC.

Vermont Department of Health recommendations: Preventing COVID-19 (healthvermont.gov)

Vermont has the second lowest fatality rate in the US (122.7 per 100K; Hawaii 101.2/100K). Mississippi (434.1/100K) and Oklahoma (430.6/100K) have the highest rates. The US average is 289.1/100K (CDC data). 

There has been a total of 1,155,145 COVID-related deaths to date in the US (CDC) and 6,981,263 globally (WHO).

Following an analysis of COVID-19 data, the VDH reported in early January a cumulative 86 additional COVID-associated deaths that occurred over the course of the pandemic but had not been previously reported. Most of those deaths occurred in 2022.

COVID-19 Update for the United States

Early Indicators

These early indicators represent a portion of national COVID-19 tests and emergency department visits. Wastewater information also provides early indicators of spread.

Severity Indicators

Total Hospitalizations

6,502,997

Total Deaths

1,155,145

The Delta variant took off in August 2021, which resulted in the heaviest number of deaths before vaccines and their boosters helped alleviate serious COVID cases. Multiple Omicron variants are now circulating and appear more virulent than previous variants, but perhaps not more dangerous, according to the CDC.

AP April 5, 2023: WHO downgrades COVID pandemic, says it's no longer a global health emergency

Walk-in vaccination clinics run by the state closed on January 31, 2023. Learn more

Vermonters are reminded that all state COVID testing sites were closed as of June 25, 2022. PCR and take-home tests are available through doctors' offices, pharmacies and via mail from the federal government. The federal government officially ended its pandemic response as of May 11, 2023. See more information BELOW or here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/testing.

Starting May 11, 2023, the CDC and Vermont Department of Health will no longer use the COVID-19 Community Level to measure COVID-19 activity in the U.S. and Vermont. Instead, Vermont's statewide COVID-19 level will be measured by the rate of COVID-19 in people being admitted to the hospital, per 100,000 residents.

Focusing on hospitalization data is a better estimate of how COVID-19 is impacting the community now that reported COVID-19 cases represent a smaller proportion of actual infections. This also allows us to compare Vermont’s hospitalization levels with other parts of the country.

The Delta variant caused a surge in COVID-related fatalities last fall and into the winter.

The highest concentration of deaths was from September 2021 through February 2022. Overall, December 2020 and January 2022 were the worst months with 72 fatalities each.

The US confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on January 20, 2020.

Vermonters ages 6 months and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the safer way to build protection from serious illness–even for those who have already had COVID-19. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines (CDC)

COVID-19 vaccines are free and widely available. Anyone can get vaccinated in Vermont, including those who live in another state, are non-U.S. citizens, or who have no insurance. See Vermont's current vaccine rates

You can get free COVID-19 vaccines at:

  • Your health care provider’s office
  • A pharmacy
  • Other locations where you get your vaccines

Know your rights when getting free vaccines.

Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines

You are considered up-to-date if you are over the age of 6 years old and have received a bivalent (updated) COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about kid vaccines

 

You may be eligible for additional COVID-19 vaccine doses if:

  • You are 65 years of age and older and received your first bivalent (updated) COVID-19 vaccine booster four or more months ago.
  • You are moderately or severely immunocompromised

    and received a bivalent (updated) COVID-19 vaccine booster two or more months ago.

If you are unable or choose not to get a recommended bivalent mRNA vaccine, you will be up to date if you received the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine doses approved for your age group.

Find more on recommended doses from CDC

 

Important Links

COVID Vaccine Information for Health Care Professionals

More on COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)

Recommended COVID Vaccine Doses (CDC)

Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.

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We Can Do This slogan over image of U.S.A.

Use Vaccines.gov to find a location near you, then call or visit the location's website to make an appointment.

Vaccines.gov

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Everyone 6 months of age and older is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Most children are also now eligible for a bivalent dose that offers increased protection against the original strain and omicron variants.

Children 6 months through 5 years of age who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID·19 vaccine are up to date if:

  • They are 6 months to 4 years of age and received at least three COVID-19 vaccine doses, including at least one bivalent (updated) COVID-19 vaccine dose.
  • They are 5 years of age and got at least one bivalent (updated) COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Children 6 months through 5 years of age who got the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are up to date if:

  • They received at least two Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses, including at least one bivalent (updated) COVID-19 vaccine dose.  

See more on recommended vaccine doses by age group (CDC)

  

Resources for parents and caregivers

https://www.vermontfamilynetwork.org/ccfk/

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Tips for Helping Kids Feel Ready for Any Vaccine (Vermont Family Network)

#factsheet

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What Families with Children Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines (translated)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWcqHOgQIVg&t=5s

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Conversations About COVID-19 Vaccines for Children with Vermont Pediatricians (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Help Getting Vaccinated

If you cannot get vaccines through any of the options above, our local health offices

offer immunization clinics by appointment. 

Need a ride? If you do not have transportation to get a free COVID-19 vaccine or booster, please contact your local public transportation provider or call Vermont Public Transportation Association (VPTA)

 at 833-387-7200.

English language learners, or immigrant or refugee community members, who would like to learn about more about vaccine clinics can contact the Association of Africans Living in Vermont 

(AALV) at 802-985-3106.

New Vaccine Cards and Requesting Vaccine Records

If you lost your vaccine card or your information is wrong:

  • You may be able to get a new CDC COVID-19 vaccination card at the pharmacy or health care provider’s practice where you were vaccinated. Not all pharmacies or providers provide this service.
  • Vermont Immunization Registry (IMR) can give you a copy of your vaccination record by mail (within a week) or secure email (within two business days). NOTE: The IMR and CDC cannot issue you a new white CDC COVID-19 vaccination card or provide QR codes. Instructions on how to request vaccine records

Recommendations for keeping your vaccination card and record up to date

Videos and Factsheets with Translations

Find more COVID-19 translations

 
COVID-19 resources for people who are deaf and hard of hearing

State Walk-In Vaccination Clinics Closed (January 2023)

Report your COVID-19 test results

Vermont Business Magazine