VDH: COVID cases, deaths, hospitalizations fall

The Vermont Department of Health

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported last week that COVID-19 cases fell steeply from 75 to 58, their lowest level since last summer. In addition, hospitalizations continue to decline, and fatalities have eased back. There were no fatalities in this report. The pandemic death total now stands at 1,138 as of March 16, 2024 (the most recent data available). Total reported deaths in January were 28, which is the highest monthly total in nearly a year, but only 15 so far for February and still only 6 so far reported in March. 

The VDH reported last week that COVID-19 hospitalizations were at a statewide total of 10, which is among the lowest they've been since last summer. COVID-19 activity remains in the "Low" range, according to the VDH.

Of the total deaths to date, 919 have been of Vermonters 70 or older. There have been 3 deaths of Vermonters under 30 since the beginning of the pandemic. 

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. 

More recently, on March 7, 2024, a study by a nationwide collaborative group including University of Vermont Larner scientists, published in Nature Communications, explored how the human body responded to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines—such as PfizerBioNTech Moderna. Both vaccines work by helping the body produce antibodies against the COVID-19 virus’s spike protein, but the study team found that the efficacy of the vaccines varied among subjects. 

Researchers found that individuals over the age of 65, men, those with higher weight, smokers, diabetics, and those with a history of emphysema tended to have lower antibody levels. To contrast, subjects who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 previously—particularly those with COVID-19 severe enough to lead to hospitalization—had significantly higher levels of anti-S1 than other groups in the study. Surprisingly, those who had taken the Moderna vaccine also reported a significantly higher level of anti-S1 than the PfizerBioNTech recipients.

Report Timeframe: March 10 to March 16, 2024

  • 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: 1.55 per 100K (2.79 per 100K last week)
  • 10 total new admissions with COVID-19. (18 last week).
  • Reported cases 58 (75 last week)
     

(see data tables below)

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 3 outbreaks last week, 2 in long-term care facilities. There were no outbreaks the week before.

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

Vermont has the second lowest state fatality rate in the US (132.1 per 100K; Hawaii 103.7/100K). Mississippi (445.6/100K) and Oklahoma (443.1/100K) have the highest rates. The US average is 296.8/100K (CDC data). 

There has been a total of 1,185,413 COVID-related deaths to date in the US (CDC) and 7,038,623 globally (WHO).

Following an analysis of COVID-19 data, the VDH reported in January 2023 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

6,891,605

Total Deaths

1,185,413

CDC | Test Positivity data through: March 16, 2024; Emergency Department Visit data through: March 16, 2024; Hospitalization data through: March 16, 2024; Death data through: March 16, 2024.
Posted: March 25, 2024 3:05 PM ET

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.


New COVID-19 variant JN.1: Experts explain symptoms, how to spot and treat the new strain


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.

Image

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/

A pointer cursor signifying a website link.

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

#factsheet

two pieces of paper signifying a document or PDF

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

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

A pointer cursor signifying a website link.

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