Vermont COVID update: Vaccine eligibility expanded; outbreak at St. Albans prison

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Vermonters 70 and older may start registering for appointments for the coronavirus vaccine next week, state officials announced Friday. Appointments can be made starting at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday on the Health Department’s website, which is encouraged, or by calling 855-722-7878.

So far, 38% of Vermonters ages 75 and up have received their first dose of the vaccine, said Human Services Secretary Mike Smith. People ages 75 and up may still register to get vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Vermont Department of Corrections said 13 inmates and three staffers at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans have tested positive for COVID-19.

One staff member at the state prison in Springfield and one at Burlington Probation and Parole also have been infected, the department said.

The St. Albans prison was locked down because of an outbreak Jan. 28 and will continue to be locked down after testing this week resulted in the new cases, officials said.

The outbreak appears to be contained to two units at the prison, officials said. Contract tracing is continuing and those who tested positive are being placed in medical quarantine, the department said.

Vermont school and recreational youth sports teams were allowed to resume competition Friday, but spectators are not allowed.

The sports include basketball, hockey, volleyball, indoor soccer and football, and broom ball. Officials say indoor teams that involve close proximity or moderate contact will be restricted to two games per seven days and a minimum of three days between competitions.

Players, staffers, referees and officials must wear masks.

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