Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported August 17 that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still considered “Low.” Total cases for the week decreased slightly. However, hospitalizations increased about 24%. The BA.5 variant has become the predominant variant of COVID-19. As of August 13, there have been 6 COVID-related fatalities in August in Vermont, for a pandemic total of 702 (the VDH report could be updated as more data becomes available). There were 12 deaths from COVID in Vermont in July. There were 12 deaths in June attributed to COVID after 32 in May. May saw an increase in fatalities from April and March. June and July had the fewest COVID fatalities since July 2021 (2). The Delta variant then took off in August 2021.
Vermonters are reminded that all state COVID testing sites were closed as of June 25. PCR and take-home tests will be available through doctors’ offices, pharmacies and via mail from the federal government. See more information BELOW or here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/testing
Report Timeframe: August 7 – August 13, 2022
Statewide community levels: Low. The rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Vermonters is below 200. New COVID-19 admissions are below 10 per 100,000 Vermonters per day, and the percent of staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 is below 10%.
• New COVID-19 cases, last 7 days: 72.28 per 100k (84.3 per 100K last week)
o Weekly case count: 451 (decrease from previous week, 526)
• New hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19, last 7 days: 8.01 per 100K (6.09 per 100K last week)
o 50 total new admissions with COVID-19 (increase from previous week, 38)
• Percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 (7-day average): 2.45% (increase from previous week, 2.16%)
Vermont Department of Health recommendations: Protect Yourself & Others
CDC recommendations: COVID-19 by County | CDC
There were 49 COVID-19 related fatalities in Vermont in September 2021, and 47 deaths in October, which are the fifth- and sixth-worst months on record. There were 42 fatalities in November, 62 in December, and 65 in January 2022, 59 in February, 17 in March, 19 in April and 32 in May, as fatalities rose early in the month before falling off. There were 12 deaths in June. As of July 19, there have been 9 COVID-related fatalities in Vermont.
The Delta variant caused a surge in COVID-related fatalities last fall and into the winter. More than half of all deaths overall have been of Vermonters 80 or over.
While the highest concentration of deaths were from last September through February, December 2020 was the worst month with 71.
Vermont has the second lowest fatality rate (1,103/M) in the US behind only Hawaii (1,093/M). Mississippi (4,230/M) and Arizona (4,218/M) are the highest.
Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, has said the BA.5 variant is highly transmissible and has caused an uptick in cases and hospitalizations across the nation; the Northeast has seen the smallest increase.
Dr Levine said on Thursday that reconfigured vaccines and boosters would become available before next winter to address the highly infectious, though less dangerous, BA.4 and BA.5 variants. He added that vaccines for the COVID virus would likely be an annual event, similar to how there is an annual flu shot that is configured for the particular active strains.
Hospitalizations Over Time
The seven-day rolling average of hospital patients admitted with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection peaked in January 2022 and increased again throughout April and into early May. After several weeks of decline, the number of daily COVID-19-positive admissions has varied between three and seven since early June. This number is the daily average of the previous seven days; for example, the value for May 28 is the daily average for the days of May 21 through May 27.
1 All Vermont hospitals and two urgent care clinics are included in ESSENCE.
How to get tested in Vermont
At-home antigen tests (also called rapid tests or self-tests) meet many testing needs and are widely available at pharmacies around the state and at online retailers.
- Buy online or in pharmacies and retail stores: Some health insurance plans can cover the cost of at-home tests. You may be able to show your insurance card at the pharmacy and get test kits at no cost to you. 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: Every home in the U.S. can order a third round of FREE at-home tests mailed directly to them. Order free tests at COVID.gov
- Contact your health care provider: Medical practices may offer other COVID-19 testing options.
HELP Getting Tests
If you cannot get at-home antigen tests from the options above, you can call the Health Department at 802-863-7200, or check with your local health office.
Non-profit community organizations may qualify for free at-home tests by mail if they work with Vermonters who may have difficulty getting tests due to overall systemic inequities. This includes Vermonters who are Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC), speak languages other than English, are experiencing homelessness, have a disability or other groups. Please email AHS.COVIDTesting@vermont.gov.
Food shelves, libraries, and municipal offices who are interested in distributing COVID-19 at-home tests in their community can also email AHS.COVIDTesting@vermont.gov.
If you are homebound, you can get a PCR test in your home. Homebound means you are not able to 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 | العربية (Arabic) | မြန်မာစာ (Burmese) | دری (Dari) | English | Français (French) | Kirundi | Maay Maay | Mandarin | नेपाली (Nepali) | پښتو (Pashto) | Soomaai (Somali) | Español (Spanish) | Kiswahili (Swahili) | Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
TEST KIT EXPIRATION DATES
Many test expiration dates have been extended. Check information below for new dates by brand:
When to get Tested
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 ─ even if the symptoms are mild, and even if you previously had COVID-19. Test as soon as possible.
- If you are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and you are not vaccinated or not up to date on your vaccines. Learn more about when close contacts should get tested.
If you test positive and you are age 65 or older or have a medical condition that may put you at risk, reach out to your health care provider to ask about treatment — as soon as you get a positive test result. Learn more about treatment.
At-home antigen test
- Is approved for ages 2 and older.
- Best when two tests are taken at least 24 hours apart.
- Should be used if you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Other test types, such as PCR, could continue to give a positive result because of your previous infection.
- Is approved for all ages, including under 2 years.
- May be available through your physician’s office.
Test instructions and translations
Report Your Results
If there is no option to automatically report your self-test result, please report results (positive or negative) to the Health Department using our online form. Your response is confidential, and reporting your test result helps the Health Department understand how many Vermonters are being tested for COVID-19 and how the virus is spreading in our communities.