The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Vermont has nearly tripled in four days, according to data just released from the Vermont Department of Health. There are 22 confirmed cases in the state.
The average rate of increase nationally is doubling of infections in four to six days.
There were 12 infected people in Vermont on March 16, which was an increase from eight the day before.
Three additional infected persons were reported Thursday. One was a woman in her 60s in Orange County. Another woman in her 80s was confirmed in Bennington. A third Vermonter, whose county of residence was not identified, was also listed.
The Vermont Department of Health stopped reporting locations for infected persons on Tuesday and Wednesday so it is not clear where all of the infected persons live, but based on current information, 42% of counties now have at least one person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Those counties include: Chittenden (4), Bennington (3), Orange (2), Addison (1), Windham (1) and Washington (1).
In addition, four people from out of state have been listed as infected individuals in Vermont.
The state has taken measures to slow the rate of spread of the disease, including by banning gatherings of 50 or more people and keeping portions of the population at home — schoolchildren, state employees, restaurant patrons and workers.
Whether those steps are enough remains to be seen.
Dr. Mark Levine, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health, said Wednesday when the total was 19 that it’s clear there are more cases in the state than are reported on official tallies.
“There’s no question that when we identified 19 cases in Vermont, that there are more than 19 cases in Vermont, that we haven’t fully identified,” Levine said. “What’s likely though, is that the majority of those other cases are not very ill, or they would have come to the attention of the health care system.”
Levine also acknowledge Wednesday that the state is lacking testing capacity and is said the supply of test kit materials is limited and expensive. The department is currently looking at “10 or 12 pathways” and working with federal agencies to obtain more test kits, reagents, supplies and machinery.