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Vermont to end COVID dashboard, but hospitalizations are rising

Top view of medical accessories for diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus, pulse oximeter, vaccine with syringe and thermometer, blue background, flat lay.
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This hour, Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine and general internist Dr. Tim Plante discuss what to expect of the pandemic in the near term.

The Vermont Department of Health will be phasing out its public COVID-19 dashboard, which tracks virus data such as daily case counts, positivity rates and hospitalizations. The state will instead issue a weekly virus report with key data, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine announced.

The move comes as Vermont's average hospitalizations and deaths are on the upswing, and the test positivity rate is above 14%. This hour, we'll ask Levine to explain the state's pivot on data and why Vermont and other New England states are currently seeing increases in cases.

Our guests are:

  • Dr. Mark Levine, Vermont health commissioner
  • Dr. Tim Plante, a general internist, epidemiologist and assistant professor of medicine at University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine

Dr. Levine discussed why the health department will stop adding daily updates to its COVID-19 dashboard, and will instead deliver weekly surveillance reports.

He told Vermont Edition that the most useful information is in syndromic surveillance, where health officials monitor emergency room visits for viruses like COVID.

"So, people can look at our new report, which is called the weekly COVID-19 surveillance report, and learn a tremendous amount about trends, and learn about risk levels," he told host Connor Cyrus.

But Dr. Plante said he fears once-a-week updates could get stale.

"One problem is, it took three days after the close of the monitoring window to produce the report.," he said. "So, it's not a week-by-week report. It actually tells you details about data that was as far back as 10 days ago."

The final daily dashboard update will be Wednesday, May 18.

Broadcast live at noon on Thursday, May 12, 2022; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Connor Cyrus joined VPR as host and senior producer in March 2021. Formerly a reporter at WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island, he's passionate about journalism’s ability to shed light on complex or difficult topics, as well as giving voice to underrepresented communities.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined VPR in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.