Vermont among handful of states expected to see more deaths related to the coronavirus in next month

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Vermont could see an uptick in deaths related to the coronavirus over the next month compared to the last four weeks. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the United States would likely reach between 124,000 and 140,000 deaths by July 4. The nation reached more than 115,000 deaths as of Sunday. The CDC named Vermont in a Friday update as likely to see more new deaths over the next four weeks (relative to the last four weeks) that are related to COVID-19, the official name of the disease related to the coronavirus that first started to affect people at the end of 2019.  

The Vermont Department of Health counted 55 deaths in the state as of Sunday. Other states projected by the CDC to see increases include Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, North Carolina and Utah. 

What’s changed with the coronavirus in Vermont over the past month?

The Green Mountain State took steps to re-open over the past month. 

Gov. Phil Scott declared a state of emergency March 13. He issued orders over the following weeks to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, which included: dismissing schools; closing bars and restaurants; restricting non-essential gatherings; issuing a stay-home order; and providing guidance for people entering Vermont. 

Changes over the past few weeks included:

More: Coronavirus: Gov. Scott allows indoor restaurant dining, lifts some travel restrictions

Cumulative deaths reported in Vermont over the last three months include:  

  • 0 cumulative deaths as of March 12.
  • 33 cumulative deaths as of April 12.
  • 53 cumulative deathsas of May 12. 
  • 55 cumulative deaths as of June 12. 

Chittenden County had the highest level of deaths in the state as of Sunday, at 39 according to the Health Department’s dashboard tracking COVID-19. The state hit more than 1,000 confirmed cases earlier in June after jumping by 36 in one day; Most of these came from Chittenden County. The spike came after a testing site opened in Winooski. 

“34 of the new cases are thought to be associated with an outbreak of COVID-19 in Winooski,” Health Department spokesman Ben Truman wrote in an email, according to previous Free Press reporting.  

More: Vermont hits COVID-19 milestone with more than 1,000 reported cases since pandemic began

A Friday update from the department noted no associated deaths and stated one person was hospitalized; However, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine revised that information during the governor’s news conference Monday, indicating no one in the Winooski outbreak required hospitalization. 

There were 83 confirmed cases associated with the outbreak, according to Levine’s update during the conference Monday. He noted the state saw a change in new cases, but pointed out many are related to a specific outbreak. The slope was leveling off again, he said. 

“We did not do specific testing in Burlington or Winooski at pop-up sites over the weekend,” he said, but noted there are plenty of testing opportunities. Levine acknowledged national concerns about states seeing case increases, but said Vermont’s curve increase was clearly related to a single outbreak.

“One has to be careful when one looks at data all the time,” he said. 

More: Coronavirus in Vermont: News and impact on your community

More: Coronavirus: Expanded COVID-19 testing in Burlington as outbreak unfolds in Chittenden County

Contact Maleeha Syed at mzsyed@freepressmedia.com or 802-495-6595. Follow her on Twitter @MaleehaSyed89

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