The Northeast Kingdom suffered another COVID death last week. According to the latest data from the Vermont Health Department, the latest death was a man 80 or above from Orleans County. This latest fatality represents the 94th COVID-related death of a NEK resident since the pandemic began. There have been 41 deaths in Caledonia County, 49 in Orleans County and 4 in Essex County. The statewide death total has risen to 910 as of Feb. 11, with over 800 among people 60 or older. The state’s weekly surveillance report indicates COVID community levels remain low with the weekly case count of confirmed cases at 495, 41 new hospital admissions and 3.8% of hospital beds occupied by COVID-positive patients. Emergency room patients reported COVID-like symptoms around 4% of the time, below the level at this time last year. More than half of the state’s recent cases have been identified as the XBB.1.5 omicron variant that has risen in prevalence across the country. There was one new reported outbreak in Orleans County last week, which saw 4 outbreaks in long-term care facilities and 12 in schools statewide, reported the Health Department.
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