MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott’s workplace introduced on Friday that, starting this Tuesday, Feb. 16, the state will open up vaccinations towards COVID-19 to the subsequent age band, these age 70 and over, and Secretary of Training Dan French introduced that music packages could be returning to varsities beneath strict tips.
Representatives from the Veterans Affairs hospital in White River Junction confirmed that they’re already scheduling appointments for veterans starting at age 65 on the hospital.
Listed here are three takeaways from Friday’s press convention:
Part 3 to start Feb. 16
Scott mentioned the band of sufferers to start vaccination on Tuesday is the smallest group of people who they’ve separated out — roughly 33, 200 Vermonters, in line with Company of Human Companies Secretary Mike Smith.
Up subsequent shall be Part 4, which can deliver with it the band of individuals aged 65 and over who will then be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, at which period others with high-risk situations would change into eligible to obtain the vaccine.
Moreover, Scott mentioned he could be signing an extension for a state of emergency for the subsequent month,
“To this point, over 85% of Vermonters 75 and older have scheduled or already acquired their vaccinations, which is quicker than many different states,” Scott mentioned.
Scott touched on the truth that different states had opened their age brackets for vaccine registration earlier than Vermont had, and mentioned though registration was open, the states might not have the doses to cowl everybody who selected to register.
Smith mentioned he was assured that the state ought to be capable to register, schedule and vaccinate rapidly earlier than transferring on to the subsequent phases, and Part 6 planning is already underway.
Going surfing to healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine is the quickest method to make an appointment, and there are sufficient slots at websites all through Vermont for everybody who’s eligible.
As soon as on the MyVaccine web site, individuals are requested to create an account. Vermonters age 70 and older can then log in to make their appointment.
Music schooling to return
Secretary Dan French mentioned the latest spherical of testing final week recognized two optimistic COVID-19 assessments, which translated to a positivity charge of 0.12% in Vermont’s public colleges.
This week, with a workers testing participation charge of 33%, 4 instances had been recognized in Vermont, elevating the speed of positivity to 0.35% — all of which had been in Franklin County.
The state positivity charge stays at 1.8%, French mentioned.
“There’s a direct connection between the virus in our communities, and the virus in our colleges,” French mentioned.
The Company of Training shall be publishing steering subsequent week relating to the return of music in Vermont’s colleges, together with for all performers to have a 6-by-6-foot distance round them when performing always, until the coed is enjoying a trombone. In that case, the trombonist is required to have a distance of 6-by-9 toes round them.
Whereas enjoying each woodwind and brass devices, musicians will use masks which have a small slit within the middle for the mouthpiece to suit by, and when at relaxation a second, non-slitted masks shall be worn over the slitted one.
Woodwind and brass devices shall be required to have a multi-layer bell cowl with a center layer made from a MERV-13 filter materials. The air in all apply and efficiency areas shall be required to have three full exchanges per hour and rehearsals shall be solely half-hour lengthy at most, officers mentioned.
No audiences shall be permitted in individual, French mentioned.
Devices operate in a different way from an aerosol perspective, French mentioned.
“It’s now our flip, our duty, to point out others the right way to get better from the pandemic and to revive normalcy to the lives of our college students by returning to extra in-person schooling, in-person actions…” French mentioned.
Influenza numbers down, however COVID-19 is up
Well being Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine mentioned that up to now there have been 13,415 instances in Vermont, with 189 deaths and 47 hospitalizations.
Thankfully, the annual anticipated influenza increase didn’t appear to hit this yr, however there has just lately been an increase in COVID-19 diagnoses in Bennington, Rutland and Franklin counties.
In Bennington, there are 244 instances, 51 resulting from lively outbreaks, whereas in Rutland there are 306 instances with 83 resulting from lively outbreaks.
In Franklin there are 244 instances with 68 resulting from lively outbreaks, however Levine mentioned outbreaks are usually not the primary driving pressure, which is an indication that there’s neighborhood transmission.
Moreover, there have been two samples of the B117 virus variant that was initially recognized in the UK, which has already been recognized in 34 states.