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Note: This story is more than a week old. Given how quickly the Covid-19 pandemic is evolving, we recommend that you read our latest coverage here.
Vermont’s Covid-19 levels were “low” this week, but several metrics tracking the virus are on the rise, the Department of Health reported in its weekly surveillance update on Wednesday.
The department reported 545 Covid cases in the past week, up 5% from the week before and up 21% from two weeks ago. But the new cases remain below the state’s benchmark for “low” Covid levels, which is over 1,200 cases per week.
Covid case data is based primarily on PCR testing and does not include at-home antigen tests. 
Hospital admissions also rose: 58 patients were newly admitted to Vermont hospitals for Covid in the past week, up from 30 the week before, the department reported. The most recent data point from Wednesday, however, shows that only 13 people were hospitalized with the virus at that time, making it hard to point to a consistent trend.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved several Vermont counties from the “low” Covid category to the “medium” one on Aug. 25: Essex, Washington, Orange and Windsor counties. Rutland and Bennington also remained in the medium category.
The CDC and health department base their Covid levels on cases, hospital admissions and the percent of hospital beds taken up by Covid patients. The CDC advises high-risk residents in medium-level counties to take measures to protect themselves from Covid, such as wearing a mask.
The health department reported no additional Covid deaths this week. In total, 11 people have died of Covid in Vermont so far in August, and 707 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
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Erin Petenko is VTDigger’s data and graphics reporter, bringing numbers to life to help Vermonters understand the state they live in.
Email: [email protected]
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