MONTPELIER, Vt. (WFFF) — As Vermont falls victim to more positive COVID-19 cases, Tuesday set a new one-day record: 1,727 cases. Governor Phil Scott’s weekly COVID press conference was preempted by his State of the State Address Wednesday; even so, the Vermont Department of Health warned that “the omicron variant is far more transmissible than any form of COVID we have seen yet.”
Vermonters are finding that it’s possible to contract COVID even if they are vaccinated and boosted. Nicole McNeill of Montpelier got the J&J vaccine in April and a Pfizer dose of the booster in November. Tuesday morning, she found out she was positive. While she isn’t presenting severe symptoms, she said she felt them three days prior to getting tested.
“It’s a mix between the common cold and a mild fever. So I did experience some chills, but only for like a day. I didn’t feel worried, I felt relieved especially because the symptoms were so mild,” she said. McNeill is just one name behind the numbers, which also includes those affected by the outbreak at Killington Resort. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Vermont Department of Health identified 86 cases among employees.
Despite several attempts for an interview, the resort issued the following statement: “Like many businesses, especially those who are customer-facing, we have seen an increase in positive COVID cases, and at this time five percent of our staff has tested positive,” said Kristel Killary, Communications Manager at Killington/Pico Ski Resort.
The outbreak comes despite several mitigation strategies in place including a vaccine requirement for all staff and volunteers, weekly on-site testing (November to December), incentives and transportation provided to get a booster, a guest mask policy, closures, and event cancellations leading up to the holidays.
The resort is working closely with the Department of Health with plans in place for more testing opportunities in the community. The resort says Killington customers should expect changes in services due to these cases, staffing shortages, and keeping even mildly symptomatic workers home.
The health department adds if you have the vaccine and booster and still get COVID, your chances of severe illness, hospitalization, or death are significantly reduced.