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Although Vt. past its peak, 'not the time to declare victory'

(WCAX)
Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 4:54 PM EDT
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New Vermont modeling shows COVID-19 is past its peak, but health officials say the good news comes with a warning.

Signs displayed at Overlook Park in South Burlington Friday remind residents and visitors that it takes everyone to flatten the curve. And new numbers show those efforts are paying off in a big way.

Vermonters we spoke with were glad to hear for yet another week that new COVID-19 cases continue to decline. "It's awesome. It's obviously that the social-distancing is working and it's nice to see that we're having a positive effect on what's going on, you know?" said

Drew Bos from St. Albans.

"I actually work in dialysis, so it's kind of nice to have a feeling that my patients are going to be a bit more safe," added Ellen Bos.

"It makes sense. Of course, it's good news. It makes me happy," said Eric Sonoda of South Burlington.

But Governor Phil Scott warned despite continued good news, it's not time to ease up on social distancing protocols. "Now is not the time to declare victory, because I think we all know it's going to take more of what we've been doing to get us out of this plateau and into a downward trend," he said.

Still, the new modeling data from the Department of Financial Regulation shows that this week confirmed the state reached its peak demand on hospitals and that resources remain well within their capacity. That's after reaching a peak of new confirmed cases last week. This week, Vermont had a less than one percent growth rate in cases, something DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak credited to Vermonters staying home. "This is why we are continuing to see better than expected outcomes," he said.

But he also said Vermonters need to keep social distancing because it'll be another week or so before the state reaches its peak of residents who actively have the virus and could spread it to other people. "More good news on the way, but only if we continue to make the sacrifices that we have made for the weeks that are behind us," Pieciak said.

But don't expect these signs at the park to disappear anytime soon. The message Friday is that while all those numbers are looking good, there is still a long way to go.

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