Many were concerned after the warm weather lured large crowds to Burlington’s North Beach April 10th with little social distancing. Only time and testing could tell how this would affect case counts in the community.
“There was not strict compliance with the governor’s orders,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “We were hopeful that like other outdoor gatherings or activities over the past year, there wouldn’t be a large spike, but we also thought it could be different this time given the b117 variant has become dominant in Burlington.”
The good news– data 10 days out shows no indication of a spike in infections due to the crowds. In fact, the mayor says the picture of infections in Chittenden County has noticeably improved in the past few weeks, which he says is evidence that vaccinations are starting to take hold.
The city’s chief innovation officer Brian Lowe says current cases are concentrated among people in their twenties.
“That makes some sense in that older people have had access to vaccines longer,” Lowe said. “Even though the total case numbers decline, the proportion of people in those different age bands is staying steady.”
92% of people in Chittenden County 75 and older have had at least one dose. Leaders note, because that group represents just 10,000 of the county’s 160k residents, the number of people who still need vaccines remains high.
The mayor says priority remains on vaccinating BIPOC Vermonters. The city has held a BIPOC clinic downtown each Saturday for the past five weeks.