Omicron on the wane, VT officials say

By Guy Page

Omicron strain Covid-19 cases and ICU hospitalizations are dropping in Vermont, state officials reported today. Also, most of Vermont’s 43 Covid-19 deaths this month resulted from the waning Delta variant. 

Total number of Vermont Covid-19 Omicron cases are down 27% in the last week and 37% in the last two weeks. The decline is expected to continue, Dept. of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak said at today’s press conference. 

The case decrease isn’t just a testing-related statistic. “It does appear to be a real decrease,” Pieciak said. For example, college campuses are showing much lower numbers than the peak earlier this month. However, the exception is in Vermont’s long-term care facilities, where 25 outbreaks have been identified. 

As a result of the decrease, there’s a 4% decrease in the use of ICU beds. That shift has occurred “over the last few days,” Pieciak said. “We’re starting to see more availability through the hospitals.” 

“Only a handful of patients are on ventilators,” Health Commissioner Mark Levine said. 

However, the news isn’t all good from Vermont’s hospitals: inpatient use for Covid-19 rose 7% last week. But even these numbers are below recent weeks, Levine said. 

The relatively good news about Omicron extends into January’s mortality statistics. Of the 43 deaths so far, “the majority of those [illnesses were contracted] when the Delat Variant was the dominant,” Pieciak said. “A minority occurred under Omicron.”

Pieciak expects fatalities to be up for a few weeks, but he emphasized that these fatalities, too, will mostly be victims of the Delta variant. 

Burlington wastewater statistics also show reduced levels of Omicron, Health Commissioner Mark Levine said. 

Although conceding the milder effects of Omicron, Levine opposes the ‘get it an get it over with’ strategy.

“Should we all just get Covid and get it over with?,” Levine asked rhetorically. He said no because: 

  • “We cannot always predict who will become seriously ill.”
  • Hosptials remain strained, albeit due to workforce issues. “You may experience delays in care and will be adding to the strain.”
  • Sick people may transmit the disease.
  • Missing work and school is inconvenient. 
  • Data is lacking on Omicron and Long Covid, including the possibility of re-infection. 

Instead, Vermonters should strive to improve its 63% vaccinated-and-boosted status to about 90%, and should continue to mask up, Levine said.  V n’ B Vermonters are less likely to land in the hospital or die, he said.

Don’t expect to hear the health commissioner use the term “fully-vaccinated” anymore.

“The word fully-vaccinated is archaic,” Levine said. “We should use ‘fully protected and up to date.’ If you really want to consider yourself protected, you need to be boosted.”

Gov. Phil Scott added that Covid-19 won’t just go away: “there’s going to be other variants” of unknown strength, he said.

Categories: Covid-19

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9 replies »

  1. “Up-to-date”…………the exact term trotted out by Fauci and the CDC director recently.

    I’m still waiting for Scott or Levine to define what they mean by “Not Fully Vaccinated”.

  2. The whole reason they even rolled out boosters is because the original vaccines failed. What are they boosting with? The original vaccine. Good grief.

  3. And here comes the next variant….duh….like we don’t see it coming. Just in time for midterms.

  4. glad to see things are trending down. not sure it has anything to do with government policies. just virus running its course

  5. Man, i know a lot of “full protected” people that recently got knocked up by the covid…… Reminds me of, “pandemic of the unvaccinated, we’re all in this together, safe and effective, Black lives matter, mostly peaceful protests, russia collusion, the big lie, America rescue plan, insurrection, stay home stay safe, undocumented immigrant, i could go on and on. All phrases meant to manipulate perception crafted by our wonderful legislators. Thanks for your dishonesty.

  6. The news may be good, but everyone should take a peak at what the true covid story is about. You can read the Vermont Global Covid Summit doctors’ testimonies or listen to them at

    Robert F Kennedy and Dr. Malone and the International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Studies all agree – all villians love Fauci who brought us Remdisivir, the worst of the drugs he tested that had a history of damaging kidneys. Dr. Ardis watched it happen before his eyes as his father-in-law succombed despite his protests, knowing what was happening as they murdered him. (His words.) This is what brought on the Covid horror stories. Without hospital protocols calling for sending people home until they were truly sick and then treating them with remdesivir, the Covid pandemic might have seen only a moderate flu season death toll.

  7. they really don’t want to give up control do they? the agenda is keep everyone under our
    direction. don’t give up power we may never get it back!

  8. The timing of the announcement of the next variant will be dependent on the political/election calendar. This is brought to us by the “science-minded” demoKKKrats…

  9. Omicron is the wane and so is every person’s career and credibility involved in these crimes against humanity.

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