COVID-19 cases in the Northeast Kingdom continue to climb at a pace near or above the height of the Delta surge, with new cases near 60 per day. The NEK has now recorded 9,606 total cases, according to Health Department data released on Monday, and at the current pace could cross the 10,000 case mark in about a week. The elevated case counts, which have seen 6 of the top 10 days for the region since Jan. 5, have coincided with a statewide shift toward at-home rapid testing, which goes uncounted unless individuals report a positive result through the Health Department’s online reporting tool. During a media briefing earlier this month, DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak said some estimated could be four or five times as many unreported or unidentified positive cases in New England as has been reported by Health Departments through the standard PCR and related testing. This weekend Essex County crossed 1,000 cases and now stands at 1,011 total cases; Caledonia County has recorded 4,075 cases and Orleans County has recorded 4,520 cases.
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