Another 6,500 Vermonters out of work last week due to governor’s COVID-19 response

Editor’s note: This article was updated 2:20 p.m. Friday.

The number of Vermonters out of work and struggling to support their families continues to climb as the Vermont Department of Labor processed more than 6,500 jobless claims over the past week.

According to the department’s unemployment insurance claims report released Thursday, initial claims for the week ending April 18 totaled 6,598, which are on top of the 9,662 claims the week of April 11 and 16,474 claims in the week prior to that.

Past initial claims that have continued on in the most recent week reached 64,313, up from 31,204 during the week ending April 11. People collecting unemployment insurance must report their job status to the state on a weekly basis to continue receiving jobless benefits.

Vermont Department of Labor

At the national level, 4.4 million Americans filed new applications for unemployment benefits, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Approximately 26.5 million people have lost jobs since governors began shutting down their state economies last month and issuing “stay home” orders to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Number of deaths

While new cases of coronavirus have leveled off in the past week, 43 people have died from COVID-19, according to the Vermont Department of Health. State and federal guidelines allow doctors to list coronavirus as the cause of death with or without a positive lab test result.

Vermont health officials have administered 13,852 tests and confirmed 825 total cases. Twenty-one people are currently being monitored, and 821 individuals have completed monitoring. Nearly half of all cases — 395 — are located in Chittenden County.

Comparison with flu and pneumonia

For the three-week period ending April 11, Vermont had 34 people die of pneumonia. No one is reported to have died from seasonal flu in the same period, which marks a decrease in flu deaths compared to prior weeks. The weekly statistics are tracked by the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System.

U.S. COVID-19 deaths

The U.S. coronavirus death toll hit 44,575 Thursday, with 5,862 of those deaths being attributed to COVID-19 without a positive lab test result. Approximately 15,740 deaths — more than 35% of all U.S. coronavirus deaths — occurred in New York state. New cases, hospitalizations and deaths are now on the decline in the Empire State, the nation’s epicenter of the outbreak.

By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 24,000 and 62,000 Americans have died of seasonal flu since Oct. 1.

New study shows infection rate much higher, death rate much lower

On Monday, researchers from the University of Southern California in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released a scientific study that found COVID-19 infections may be 28 to 55 times higher than reported. While the news means more people have contracted coronavirus than originally thought, it also means the fatality rate is much lower than originally believed — about 0.1% to 0.2%, making COVID-19 about as deadly as regular seasonal flu.

Some states ready to open up again

Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and South Carolina have begun opening up their respective economies this week after a month of stay-home orders and business shutdowns. In Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott has said small outdoor crews could get back to work in sectors like construction and landscaping, but restrictions on restaurants and other service industry jobs are still in place.

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the Department of Justice could take legal action against states with overly strict social distancing rules, saying “the idea that you have to stay in your house is disturbingly close to house arrest.”

He added that “when a governor does something that intrudes upon or infringes on a fundamental right or a constitutional right, they’re bounded by that. And those situations are emerging around the country to some extent.”

In the past six weeks, dating to the last week before the economic shutdowns began, the initial claims for unemployment for Vermont have been:

• Week ending April 18: 6,598
• Week ending April 11: 9,662
• Week ending April 4: 16,474
• Week ending March 28: 14,633
• Week ending March 21: 3,784
• Week ending March 14: 659

Images courtesy of Public domain and Vermont Department of Labor

12 thoughts on “Another 6,500 Vermonters out of work last week due to governor’s COVID-19 response

  1. Spoken like a good slave and Fool Aid drinker. Serving as sockpuppet for Comrade Scott and the rest of the communists including Democrat Party is unhelpful to those who live under the rights, freedoms and protection of our constitution which are despised by the aforementioned.

    First of all this is a massive hoax and those who take this mind control experiment seriously have been had.

    And the numbers are wrong – all who sneeze or cough have Wuhan Flu – according to top down directive from WHO and CDC guidelines. Death from lightening strike? Wuhan flu complicated by lightrning strike.

    This is the province of those who are ruining our economy and life as we know it. Citing the commands of the chapter and verse edicts of CDC, WHO and Red China who are the tip of the Trump-hating spear while attempting to ride herd over freedom-loving sane ppl is shameful imho.

    • Comment is reply to Mike:
      April 24, 2020 at 8:58 am

      While the current unemployment situation is most difficult, hopefully it will be relatively short lived. Hopefully, things wwill begin to open by some time in late May or mid to late June. We all must be patient and cooperate.

  2. The plain fact is that all the statistics we have tell us that those who are frail and/or over 65 years old are Covid’s victims; the rest of us can breath easy. If you’re young and healthy, chances are excellent that you’re not going to die from Covid. You may not even know you had it.

    Yes, we need to protect the elderly and frail, but that’s all we need to do. Anything more than that is overreach and is wildly inappropriate to the actual risk. Unfortunately, most of the population has been sufficiently scared out of their wits, thanks to fear-mongering such as that provided by Imperial College’s Dr. Ferguson, who first gave us such outrageous and unrealistic death counts. Dr. Ferguson had practice: he also gave us wildly inflated and unrealistic death counts for the 2009 swine flu.

    If we’re so worried about all this risk, then where were we when 10,950 Americans died from drunken driving each year? Why didn’t we shut down all the bars and stop serving alcohol in restaurants? Where were we when 32,000 people in the US were killed each year in all car crashes? Why didn’t we lower the speed limit to 40 mph? For that matter, why didn’t we just shut down the entire economy and lock down everyone to prevent those deaths? Life involves risk.

    If healthy people go out and work and socialize, then they’ll get immunity to Covid and many of them won’t even know they had it. Then either those most frail can come out or they can stay in and wait for a vaccine– their choice. The hospitals aren’t going to be overrun by healthy young people gasping for air because they have Covid-19: we know this beyond the shadow of a doubt. Those who are elderly and frail will likely take it upon themselves to take all necessary protective measures. They don’t need government coercion to do this, although the government can and should direct scarce resources to ensuring that those who need help and protection and possibly isolation can get it promptly and efficiently. I have no doubt that generous Vermonters will work hard to see that those who need supplies and help will get it, with all due concern for safety.

    It’s very likely that the death toll from Covid is inflated due to problems with recording case and with guidelines that the CDC (and other countries) issued that gave the green light to calling anything Covid. This is a serious disease, yes, but so is destroying small businesses, ruining the economy, creating a state of fear in the population, making people dependent on the government for groceries, and creating a quasi-police state because of a disease that we’ll all get over, with the vast majority of us doing just fine. The plain fact is that the case fatality rate for Covid-19 is likely in the range of 0.1%-0.26% and that puts it in-line with the flu or slightly worse, as many reputable sources have told us, and the CFR is much, much lower for healthy individuals who should be out there and acquiring natural immunity, which is the best type of immunity to have.

    Lockdown is a terrible precedent to set.

    • Great post as usual.

      Hypertension, Overweight and diabetes are trouble too……something many struggle with.

      As you say the object, which is displayed by their actions and rhetoric isn’t about addressing the problem. Clearly they have some other fish to fry.

  3. Why do we presume than anyone NOT on unemployment payments IS therefor gainfully employed?

    Wrong assumption. Lots of employees and business owners are independently trying to get by without gov’t assistance.

    Imagine the “experience unemployment tax $$ rate for a business who was forced to close, laing off everybody,
    so it has a huge expensive experience factor when it reopens!! A real kick in the gut!

    • Was talking with a musician friend of mine. All the weddings for this summer were canceled. Vermont, our valley is a HUGE wedding destination, every weekend through the entire summer in multiple venues across our valley we have $100,000 weddings every weekend.

      This is pretty serious stuff. As many know, it takes some time to get a wedding planned and coordinated. I suspect many will not be able to regroup and instead decide to have a small wedding at home.

      Just this change in weddings across our state will have some serious implications on rooms and meals taxes, all our B&B’s, catering, venues, bands.

      We need to get a handle on the science of things and quickly.

  4. While the current unemployment situation is most difficult, hopefully it will be relatively short lived. Hopefully, things wwill begin to open by some time in late May or mid to late June. We all must be patient and cooperate.

    • Gilhooly’s solution of blind obedience to the government is not only faulty, it’s dangerous for all Vermonters. When the food shortages start, might you reconsider your position?

  5. According to Wikipedia….

    Our first corona virus person was January 20th in the United States.

    Brazil’s first was February 5th.

    Brazil has 211 million people
    So far 2800 total corona virus deaths reported.
    Brazil has been open for business the entire. time.

    • So many things wrong about your statement. Brazil’s first case was February 25th, not February 5th. Brazil has not been open for business the entire time. In fact, the majority of Brazil’s state governors have issued strict isolation guidelines including shutting down schools, closing restaurants and businesses, beaches, etc. And it looks like because of a backlog in testing, their daily death rates from coronavirus are about to explode, which would explain the mass graves they’re digging. Case in point: their death toll jumped to 3313 since you posted your comment. That’s an 18% increase. Yeah, Brazil is TOTALLY in control of this pandemic.

      • Thank you for correcting the fist case date, much appreciated.

        Do you know when and which governors closed down their areas? Are citizens made to comply when it differs with the fed?

        What I am trying to find is the exact opposite, the country that stayed the most open for a comparison.

        Do you know the rampage of deaths according to the cdc, world wide due to the flu and pneumonia? I’ve been trying to find a table that also show when the deaths occur to no avail, I suspect the deaths are more seasonal than an even rate throughout the year.

        What I’m trying to find is the truth. The most important piece of information is the CFR, which everyone should be diligently trying to determine because it’s the ONLY reason to be fearful or shut things down.

        Do,you know what country is the most open?

        We know 50% of our deaths in Vt are from nursing homes, we knew going in, yet it isn’t a priority from anything I’ve read, for instance they are only know testing staff after somebody died, a little late, huh?

        We know most get through it. How many? What percent? What percent get better with mix if three drug cocktail, which you’ll find ” Fauchi recommended as a wonder drug several years ago, but now is suddenly not. We have a French physician saying he got 91% cure rate. Are there any other?

        I’m looking for facts, comparison, not fear. 500 people dieing in one day out of 211 million people, can you tell me the death rate per day of Brazil? Has it gone up?

        How much has Vermonts death rate changed with regard to the flu and pneumonia? Actual numbers and percent? What are the yearly fluctuations over the last ten years, range of historical highs and lows?

        Questions many seem unwilling to explore or present, but the press quickly and daily presents the numbers of corona virus infections and deaths as a headline! You’ll find little otherwise.

      • Fore instance what if we paid nursing home staff 3x their pay for 4 months and had them all living in a clean hotel, isolated. Could this drop the CFR rate by 50%? Might be far more effective and loving to those in the home and better than closing the entir country not to,mention VASTLY less expensive.

        We know they using a completely different cause of death for Clovid-19 than any other time in our history, of which only inflates the cause of death artificially across the country. It appears Vermont is not going that route, thankfully.

        Are you familiar with tha tactics used to subvert a country? To change those in power by chaos and catastrophe? Sun Tzu? Military education on this? It’s all very important. What people are not reporting is sometimes more important. When everybody parrots,the exact same information, one might immediately question things. Have you read
        Sheryl attkissons book called Smear? It’s pretty enlightening.

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