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‘Not supposed to happen’: Vermont, the state with the highest vaccinated rate, sees record surge in COVID-19 cases

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Vermont, the state with the highest vaccination rate in the United States, is experiencing a COVID-19 surge at levels not seen since the pandemic’s peak last winter.

The number of cases in Vermont is at a record level, hospitalizations are close to the records notched last winter, and the state recorded the deadliest day and the second deadliest month of the pandemic in September.

“I think it’s clearly frustrating for all of us,” Michael Pieciak, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation who monitors coronavirus statistics for the state.

More than 69% of Vermont’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of September 24, according to the CDC, far above the national rate of 56%.

The state recorded the highest rate of hospitalizations per 100,000 residents on September 30, breaching a record set on January 31 last year. Eight people died of the coronavirus in Vermont on September 13, the highest grim total recorded since the outbreak of the virus.

In late August, four of ten cases of COVID-19 in Vermont were among vaccinated people, according to a letter signed by 90 employees of the Vermont Health Department, including state Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso.

Gov. Phil Scott (R) lifted the state of emergency in Vermont in June when 80% of the population had received at least one shot of the vaccine. He has since indicated he is wary of reimposing the state of emergency.

“We can’t be in a perpetual state of emergency,” Scott said this week.

The four states which follow Vermont in terms of the highest vaccination rates in the nation are also experiencing alarming signs.

The head of UMass Memorial Health, the largest health system in central Massachusetts, said recently that regional hospitals were seeing nearly 20 times more COVID-19 patients than in June and there isn’t an ICU bed to spare. Massachusetts has the fifth-highest vaccination rate in the nation.

In Connecticut, the second most vaccinated state in the U.S., the legislature recently extended the governor’s emergency powers to make it easier to cope with the latest wave of the pandemic.

On September 22, Maine, the third most-vaccinated U.S. state, had nearly 90 people in intensive care units, a pandemic peak for the state.

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Scholarship set up in honor of Sentinel sportswriter Bill Buchalter

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A scholarship for high school athletes, set up in the name of former and legendary Orlando Sentinel sportswriter Barry “Bill” Buchalter, was announced Sunday at his memorial service.

Buchalter died six months ago after a short hospital stay for congestive heart failure. His service at Winter Park’s Showalter Stadium was delayed because of the pandemic.

The veteran writer, columnist and editor for 40 years at the Sentinel covered a wide variety of topics, including the NFL, NBA and Olympics but was noted in particular for writing about high school sports and athletics, and became known as the “Guru” for recruiting.

He retired in 2007, when he was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall. Also that year, the Sentinel established the Bill Buchalter Spirit Award, which is presented annually to a high school athlete who has overcome illness, injury or other struggles while keeping a positive attitude.

The Florida Sports Hall of Fame in conjunction with the Orlando Sentinel are creating the Bill Buchalter Spirit Award Scholarship that will be presented to winners of the Spirit Award.

The scholarship ultimately will be determined by donations, his life partner Stephanie Engelberg said. Donations can be made to the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.

Friends, colleagues, coaches and a hall of fame representative spoke at Buchalter’s service.

kspear@orlandosentinel.com

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Coast Guard, partner agency intercepts 88 Haitians near Bahamas

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(WSVN) – Dozens of migrants were stopped at sea near the Bahamas. 

The U.S. Coast Guard and Bahamian officials intercepted 88 Haitian nationals who were aboard an overloaded boat, Friday.

Bahamian officials brought the migrants on board their vessel and back to dry land.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Doctors Working To Get Out Word On How Americans Can Protect Themselves Against Diabetes

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Diabetes is one of the chronic health conditions that can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The most recent statistics from the CDC show 88 million Americans with prediabetes, which means higher than normal blood sugar levels.

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Doctors are working to get out the word on how Americans can protect themselves.

“Prediabetes is a serious health condition that actually puts people at risk for other serious health conditions like heart attack, stroke and, of course, type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Christopher Holliday, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.

One of the biggest challenges in treating prediabetes is that it usually has no symptoms. Most people don’t even know they have it. That’s why the CDC and the American Medical Association joined forces with a series of public service announcements to raise awareness.

Dr. Colette Knight of the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey says lifestyle changes make all the difference, including regular exercise and the right diet. You want to have “a diet that’s rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, very little or no processed foods,” she says.

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Lorna Gooden has a family history of diabetes and knew that she too was at risk. When she went from prediabetic to diabetic, she enrolled in an education program to take control of her health.

“I learned what was triggering my blood sugars to be high. I learned how to do my finger sticks,” she said.

Gooden changed her diet, lost weight and turned her diabetes around.

“Anyone that says they have diabetes or they’re prediabetic or even if it runs in their family, I say go get checked.”

She says education changed her life and she wishes the same for others.

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To take a one-minute prediabetes assessment, you can visit doihaveprediabetes.org. The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetes screening for most adults begins at age 45.

CBSMiami.com Team

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