Vermont reporters are providing a summary of key takeaways on coronavirus, poverty, and more for Wednesday, November 10.
Want the daily VPR news in podcast form? Get up and running in under 15 minutes with The Frequency every morning of the week. How about an email newsletter? Add our daily email briefing to your morning routine.
1. Data from the Vermont Department of Health shows a slight drop in the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19, increasing the positivity rate
The latest data from the Vermont Department of Health shows that the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 declined slightly today, even as the state’s positivity rate continues to rise.
About fifty Vermonters are now hospitalized due to the coronavirus, three fewer than yesterday, but still part of the high and sustained levels of hospitalizations in Vermont.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate, high since August due to the delta variant, has been increasing for more than two weeks and is now 3.8%.
In total, the state reported 201 new cases today and one new death from the virus.
– Matthew Smith
COVID cases among school-aged children on the rise
A dramatic spike in COVID cases in Vermont over the past two weeks is disproportionately impacting children aged 5 to 11.
Gov. Phil Scott said in his weekly press briefing yesterday that infection rates among 5 to 11 year olds are now double the rate in the general population.
“Although children in this age group usually have mild illnesses, the case can be upsetting for families, such as not being able to go to school and parents taking time off work as a result,” he said. -he declares.
Scott said the relatively high number of cases in young children should force even more parents to enroll their children for the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Tuesday morning, about 30% of children aged 5 to 11 had signed up for immunization appointments.
Listen / read the full story.
– Peter Hirschfeld
Recent COVID outbreak shows how virus is spreading among vaccinated people
Health Commissioner Dr Mark Levine said a recent outbreak of COVID at St. Michael’s College Colchester shows just how much of a threat the virus can still pose to those vaccinated.
Recently, 79 students tested positive, although 98% of students are fully immunized.
School officials believe crowded Halloween parties were the main source of infection.
Levine says the incident shows just how contagious the delta variant is.
“I’m afraid that has happened, yes, but am I surprised that it has happened? No,” he said. “From what we’ve seen across the country, this virus can do just that. I don’t know for sure, but I would put money on those cases being very mild. But a case is always a case. , and it’s a shame that happens. “
Levine says he’s happy that more than 95% of students in Vermont are fully immunized.
– Bob Kinzel
2. Rising cost of living causes economic hardship for Vermonters
Advocates say rising costs for housing, transportation and food are making it harder for many Vermonters to make ends meet.
This is despite millions in COVID relief, abundant jobs and rising wages.
Michele Bailey of West Rutland is a single mother of three permanently disabled children, and she says her fixed income is not keeping up.
“We are fortunate to be owners,” she said. “But now my roof is leaking and I can’t afford to fix it. My refrigerator broke the other day and I can’t afford to replace my refrigerator. My car is in its final stages. “
Community groups in Vermont are working to connect those in need with federal COVID relief funds, but say many people are still absent for various reasons.
Read / listen to the full story.
3. Authorities plan to help former residents of Sears Lane
City of Burlington officials plan to help former residents of a homeless camp that was closed last month due to reported criminal activity.
MyChamplainValley Reports city officials say they will work with residents of Sears Lane and use federal funding from the US bailout to provide services to homeless people.
The city said it is planning a forum on the issue in January and has asked the state to extend its emergency motel voucher program until 2022. This program provides housing insecure people a temporary motel room.
The city has also created a focus group that includes people affected by homelessness and those who work with the homeless population.
– Associated Press
4. Temperature increases could impact the Vermont ski industry
A new statewide report finds climate change is making Vermont hotter and wetter – faster than regional scientists previously thought.
And that could have big impacts for the $ 1.6 billion Vermont ski industry.
The second Vermont climate assessment released yesterday found that if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, Vermont could see temperatures rise by 10 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit by the turn of the century.
In this scenario, the state’s ski industry may not be viable by 2080.
Stephen Posner is director of policy at the Gund Institute, which led the study.
“The ski industry is, I think, one of the groups that I know of that carefully monitors climate data and plans investments accordingly, as well as additional activities in the mountains of ski resorts,” Posner said.
The report found that there is still time to reduce emissions and associated climate impacts.
– Abagael Gilles
5. Federal grant will be used to expand Vermont nursing programs
The Vermont State College system will use a federal grant to expand nursing programs at Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College. The money will make room for 60 new students in school nursing programs.
Manpower shortages in Vermont hospitals have gutted nurses.
And Senator Bernie Sanders says the Vermont health care system now spends $ 75 million a year on itinerant nurses to fill the gaps.
“$ 75 million a year to pay nurses who come here, do a good job, but receive significantly higher wages and salaries than local nurses, and that’s fundamentally insane and dysfunctional,” he said. he declares.
Sanders, who helped secure a $ 240,000 grant for the Vermont State College system, says Vermont will need about 9,000 new nurses to join the Vermont workforce over the next seven years. .
And he says expanding nursing programs at Vermont state colleges will increase the local supply of qualified health professionals.
– Peter Hirschfeld
6. Vermont Doctors Provide Sneak Peek Of COVID Vaccine For Children
As thousands of Vermont families grapple with whether to vaccinate their young children for COVID, doctors across the state are looking to address concerns.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is organize a series of presentations to answer questions about the COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
In the first discussion this week, Dr Leah Costello, a pediatrician from South Burlington, looked at clinical trial data on thousands of children. She pointed out that the shot is over 90% effective in preventing COVID infections in young children.
And most of the children in the clinical trial had no side effects. About a third reported mild fatigue or headaches after receiving the injection – about the same as a group of children given a placebo.
Costello said a common concern she was hearing is about a heart problem called myocarditis. It is inflammation of the heart muscle, which can lead to chest pain and shortness of breath. This is a rare side effect of the vaccine, seen in about one in 10,000 young men after puberty.
But it’s also a symptom of COVID, where the condition is more common and more severe.
“The vaccine is much more likely to prevent myocarditis than to cause it,” Costello explained. “Because the vaccine prevents COVID, and COVID can cause myocarditis. “
Costello stressed that it’s okay to want more information and not be the first to get the shot.
“It’s good to have questions and to feel some hesitation,” she said. “There has been a lot of decision fatigue over the past 20 months, and that’s just another decision.”
She shared that her two young children were vaccinated after her approval last week.
– Lexi Krupp
Marlon Hyde compiled and edited this article.
Do you have questions, comments or advice? Send us a message or tweet us @vprnet.