How To Read Vermont's COVID-19 Numbers

Apr 8, 2020

Updated 1 p.m. 5/22/2020

The Vermont Department of Health is updating our state's COVID-19 numbers every day. Some of the data is self-explanatory; some is not. Here's how to interpret the numbers.

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Total Cases: This is the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 by the Vermont Department of Health, commercial labs, and other public health labs, according to the state. It's a cumulative number, which means it shows how many people have tested positive since the pandemic began, including people who have recovered. 

Currently Hospitalized: The number of patients with COVID-19 who are currently hospitalized, as counted by the Vermont Healthcare Emergecy Preparedness Coalition. "Data are based on hospitals updating this information as they are able," according to the health department.

Hospitalized Under Investigation: These are people who are hospitalized with illnesses that are being investigated as potential but not yet confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Total People Recovered: According to Health Commissioner Mark Levine, these are people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have self-reported their recovery, or have had 30 days go by since they were first diagnosed.

Deaths: This number reflects the number of patients "known to have COVID-19" who have died. In some cases, a death certificate may be pending.

Total tests: The total number of tests for COVID-19 completed in Vermont so far.

On May 17, the Vermont Department of Health posted the following on the database's homepage:

As of May 16, the total testing numbers decreased by about 1,000 due to a change in reporting data. The “total tests” number no longer includes serology tests (also known as antibody tests) that were being reported by some labs. The "total test" number now only reflects people who were tested for a current COVID-19 infection.

Commissioner of Health Mark Levine said at a press conference May 20 that this change should have minimal impact on the "percent positivity," or the percentage of total tests that return positive.

People Being Monitored/Completed Monitoring: "Monitoring is for a resident or non-resident who comes to Vermont from outside the state ­– for anything other than an essential purpose ­­– or who has been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19," according to the Department of Health's "Frequently Asked Questions."

During monitoring, a person stays home, watches for symptoms of COVID-19 and checks their temperature daily.

If you were in close contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the state, you should contact your health care provider, and then call the Vermont Department of Health at 802-863-7240, and follow the guidance posted here: What to do if you're in close contact with someone with COVID-19

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 information from the Department of Health here. 

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