MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) – Vermont officials on Tuesday announced that vaccinated individuals are now allowed to visit hospitals and that the state’s pharmacy program is expanding.
As of Tuesday, health officials say 36.9% of Vermonters have received at least one vaccination. Upward of 19,000 Vermonters aged 50 and older signed up on the first day of eligibility Monday. The next group scheduled to go is 40 plus this coming Monday. The state is adding vaccination pharmacy partners. That includes CVS locations in Essex, Rutland, and Williston. Starting April 5, Hannaford will offer vaccines at 12 locations.
Officials say those who are vaccinated will now be allowed to visit Vermont hospitals, although hospitals are allowed to set their own guidelines. Visitors will have to present their vaccination cards as evidence.
Vaccination registration is also expanding to two new groups. Starting Wednesday, parents caring for kids with health problems that are too young to get vaccinated will be eligible. On Thursday, any BIPOC individual 16 and older can register. The health commissioner says that’s because that group is at greater risk of hospitalizations and the pace of vaccination is way behind. By mid-April, all Vermont inmates will have gotten at least one dose.
Officials say the region — and the rest of the country — continues to see an increase in case counts. In Vermont, case counts remain elevated in Orleans and Rutland Counties and officials forecast that those high counts could continue through April. The health commissioner says the growing numbers are connected to community spread and not related to changes to guidelines for bars and restaurants. Most of the spread is among younger people. Those in their 20s make up more than 20%, a 53-percent jump this month.
As of Tuesday, Vermont health officials reported 73 new coronavirus cases for a total of 19,109. There have been a total of 225 deaths. The state’s percent positive seven-day average is 2%. A total of 354,301 people have been tested, and 15,754 have recovered.
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Vt. hospitals to allow fully-vaccinated visitors – WCAX