Vermont officials warn of potential COVID spike from Thanksgiving gatherings

Local News

Vermont health officials are warning of the potential for a spike in COVID-19 cases linked to Thanksgiving gatherings.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, COVID-19 cases have increased 16% over the last 7 days and 64% over the last 14 days. On Wednesday, the state reported 245 new cases; 58 people were hospitalized, with a dozen in the ICU. Nearly 400 people have died since the pandemic began.

“It’s more important than ever for people to be aware case counts are up,” Patsy Kelso, State Epidemiologist, said. “There is a lot of virus in Vermont communities and we are seeing it spread.” 

Kelso said there is no indication increased travel is behind the surge. She said the recent surge is likely due to “gatherings and workplaces and other settings in Vermont.”

Vermont’s case counts aren’t expected to come down over the next 4 weeks, but Kelso said the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings brings uncertainty. 

“Be aware, and choose to gather safely,” she said. “The smaller the group size the better.”  

Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said in Tuesday’s press conference that Vermonters need to be aware of the possibility of virus transmission as they gather for the holiday.

“The more people who are vaccinated around your table, the safer everyone will be,” he said. “As a host you have a right to inquire and set the rules.”

State data show elevated case counts in Essex, Orleans, Franklin and Rutland counties.

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