Vermont’s COVID death toll and hospitalizations reached new milestones yesterday.

Vermont’s COVID death toll and hospitalizations reached new milestones yesterday. Health officials reported eight new COVID-related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 507 since the start of the pandemic. 252 deaths, almost half are in the 80+ age group. Death rates between the sexes are fairly even, with males edging females at 54%. The hospitalization rate continues to increase, hitting 122 as of Wednesday with 25 in the ICU. Health officials reported 1,344 new coronavirus cases for a total of 93,492.  Orleans, Bennington, Rutland, and Essex Counties are among the areas with the highest infection rates in the state. Vermont DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak says the newest numbers are good and bad. On the good side, cases have been falling steadily for more than a week from a daily high of 1,850 to about 1,600. The bad news, he says, is that 1,600 is still high and hospitalization rates are not likely to come down for a least a couple more weeks. Hospitalizations are at an all-time high in Vermont and they’re high across the region. Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff are really grinding,” he said.

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