At the governor’s weekly press conference Tuesday, members of Gov. Phil Scott’s administration said hospital ICUs are getting filled with non-COVID-related patients, but they don’t know the reason for the uptick in illnesses.
“[A rise in new COVID cases] has put more strain on our hospitals. which are already under stress from an increase in patients needing care for health issues that are not related to COVID,” Gov. Phil Scott said. “The reality is, our biggest concern at this point is our ICU capacity.”
The state is averaging about 14 COVID-19 cases per day, or about 10 to 15 percent of all ICU patients.
“But because of increases in non-COVID cases, there are days where there are only 10 open ICU beds in the state,” Scott said. ” … So if the COVID cases in the ICU rise to, let’s say, 25 percent, then the system could be in jeopardy.
“Think of it this way, if someone has a heart attack or a stroke, or a sustained injury due to an accident, we want to be sure that we have an ICU bed available.”
Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine reiterated that Vermonters who get COVID-19 sometimes take up valuable ICU beds.
“The more we reduce COVID cases, the more we keep them out of hospitals and make sure Vermonters can get care for any type of emergency as soon as they need it,” he said.
“For months now our ICUs have been very busy — but for months now they are experiencing worsening chronic medical conditions like heart disease and lung disease, due to care that was put off or delayed during the early days of the pandemic,” Levine said.
Scott mentioned that 10 to 15 percent of ICU beds are usually occupied by COVID patients, and that can sometimes be too much.
In September, a UVM Medical Center nurse complained of an uptick in strange health conditions over the past year, and said the hospital’s administration was pressuring staff to not look into adverse vaccine reactions as a potential culprit.
This week in California, rumors are swirling that Gov. Gavin Newsom, now mysteriously missing from the public eye for more than 12 days, is suffering an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 booster shot he received ahead of his disappearance. One rumor reported by the New York Times as “unsubstantiated conjecture” is that Newsom is experiencing symptoms consistent with Bell’s palsy.
Vaccines for young kids
The governor also updated Vermonters on the latest push to vaccinate about 44,000 Vermonters ages 5 to 11 years old against COVID-19.
“As of this morning about one-third of this entire population, about 14,000 kids, have signed up for their appointment or gotten their first dose,” Scott said.
Scott said that kids are contracting COVID-19 at the highest rate among age groups, but serious symptoms for young people are rare.
“Although kids in this age range usually developed mild illnesses, cases can be disruptive for families like not being able to go to school and parents missing work as result,” Scott said.
Some polls from around the country show that the majority of parents are not planning to vaccinate their children for COVID-19. About 30,000 Vermont kids’ parents have yet to commit to the shots for their children.
Scott said parents should engage with their pediatricians and make informed decisions on whether to have their children get the shots.
In related news, The Valley Reporter reported today that there was a breakout of COVID-19 cases in a community that was almost fully vaccinated.
95% of St. Mike's students are vaccinated, but Halloween outbreak still occurred. #vtpoli
— The Valley Reporter (@ValleyReporter) November 9, 2021
Administration officials have been frustrated over the surge in COVID cases in Vermont, but have yet to commit to reinstating a state of emergency.
Levine commented that while he realizes that many Vermonters are frustrated at the modification of their lifestyles, “there’s not one single solution to stop it.”