While Vermont reported 61 new coronavirus cases over the last week -- an increase from 39 the week before -- the news delivered by Gov. Phil Scott and his administration at a news conference Friday was mostly positive.
Finance Commissioner Mike Pieciak said the slight increase was due in large part to college students returning to campuses across the Green Mountain State.
With the return of students, however, came an increase in testing. Vermont's positivity rate for COVID-19, just under 0.5%, remains the best in the nation. Vermont also boasts the nation's lowest cases per capita in cases overall and the lowest per capita in cases over the last seven days, he said.
Roughly a dozen of Vermont's new cases are tied to college students, Pieciak said.
One person is currently hospitalized with the new coronavirus in Vermont.
Pieciak said that 6.6 million people were eligible to travel to Vermont without quarantining for 14 days, up from 5.9 million people over last week. All people who are eligible to travel to Vermont without quarantining come from areas which have similar coronavirus metrics to the state.
Schools are set to reopen in Vermont in the coming weeks, with many districts opting for a hybrid approach amid concerns over the virus.
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"Kids will have been away from school for more than five months when they return in September," Scott said last week. "We don't know the full impact, but what we do know is not all families have been able to manage this since March, which means the inequity that existed before schools closed has likely gotten worse."
"Keep in mind, our schools are a microcosm of our communities, and our communities are doing well," Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine said.
Since Vermont began the gradual reopening of its nursing homes and other various long-term care facilities on June 19, the state has had different phases dictating rules for visitors.
Facilities qualified for Phase 1 have gone 14 days without a new case, Phase 2 qualifies with 28 days and Phase 3 qualifies with 42 days without a new transmission of the coronavirus. Through Friday, three nursing homes were in Phase 3.
When it comes to the economy, Scott said that over 40,000 Vermont residents are currently on some form of unemployment. Scott said roughly $300 million in revenues have been lost due to policies meant to better ensure safety for Vermonters, which he said was necessary.