Vermont reports 32 new virus cases; launches online dashboard of COVID-19 data

Local News

Vermont health officials reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus to 575. The number of people who died after testing postive remains at 23.

The Vermont Department of Health also announced the launch of an online dashboard that provides a by-the-numbers look at the outbreak in Vermont. Among the new data being presented is cases by age. According to the health department nearly 60 percent of confirmed cases are in people aged 50 and older.

The dashboard also offers data on cases by gender and county, the number of people being monitored for symptoms and the number of hospitalizations.

As of 11 am Tuesday, 29 people are currently being treated in Vermont hospitals for the virus; another 51 people are hospitalized based on symptoms, but have either not yet been tested or awaiting results.

The department says the state health lab and commercial laboratories have administerd 7,129 tests, an increase of nearly 500 since Monday. At a press conference Monday, Health Commissioner Mark Levine said Vermont has expanded testing to more people and that will likely lead to an increase in reported cases.

Levine said the number of confirmed cases is roughly ten to twelve percent of the total number of tests administered, lower than in many states.

“This is actually a sign that all of the hard work everyone in Vermont is doing is actually paying off.” Levine said.

The state’s efforts have cost more than $20 million as the virus threatens to overwhelm state and local resources. On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Scott requested federal Public Assistance (PA) funds that would reimburse the state, towns and some nonprofits, such as nursing homes, rehab centers, hospitals and emergency services.

If approved, the funding would provide a 75 percent reimbursement of the cost for “actions taken to save lives and protect public health.” The state is also requesting Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Crisis Counseling Assistance for Vermont counties.

“The COVID-19 disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments,” Scott said in a letter to President Trump. “Federal assistance is absolutely necessary to ensure the health and safety of all individuals in Vermont.”

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