Vermont, the state with the highest vaccination rate in the United States, is experiencing a CCP virus surge at levels not seen since the pandemic’s peak last winter.
The number of cases in Vermont is at a record level, hospitalizations are close to the records made last winter, and the state recorded the deadliest day and the second deadliest month of the pandemic in September.
“I think it’s clearly frustrating for all of us,” said Michael Pieciak, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation who monitors CCP virus statistics for the state.
More than 69 percent of Vermont’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Sept. 24, according to the CDC, far above the national rate of 56 percent.
The state recorded the highest rate of hospitalizations per 100,000 residents on Sept. 30, breaching a record set on Jan. 31, 2020. Eight people reportedly died of the CCP virus in Vermont on Sept. 13, the highest total recorded in the state so far.
In late August, four of ten cases of COVID-19 in Vermont were among vaccinated people, according to a letter signed by 90 employees of the Vermont Health Department, including state Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso.
Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, lifted the state of emergency in Vermont in June when 80 percent of the population had received at least one shot of the vaccine. He has since indicated he’s wary of reimposing the state of emergency.
“We can’t be in a perpetual state of emergency,” Scott said this week.
The four states that follow Vermont in terms of the highest vaccination rates in the nation are also experiencing alarming signs.
The head of UMass Memorial Health, the largest health system in central Massachusetts, said recently that regional hospitals were seeing nearly 20 times more COVID-19 patients than in June, and there isn’t an ICU bed to spare. Massachusetts has the fifth-highest vaccination rate in the nation.
In Connecticut, the second-most-vaccinated state, the legislature recently extended the governor’s emergency powers to make it easier to cope with the latest wave of the pandemic.
On Sept. 22, Maine, the third-most-vaccinated U.S. state, had nearly 90 people in intensive care units, a pandemic peak for the state.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, is the pathogen that causes COVID-19.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.