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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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Miami private school to require students getting COVID-19 vaccine to stay home for 30 days after each dose due to ‘shedding onto others’

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MIAMI, Fla. — A Miami school that made headlines for saying it would penalize teachers who got the COVID-19 vaccine is now requiring students who get vaccinated to remain home for 30 days after each dose.

Parents of students at the Centner Academy recently received a letter from its Chief Operating Officer that read in part, “…if you are considering the vaccine for your Centner Academy student(s), we ask that you hold off until the Summer when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease.”

The letter also spelled out a quarantine rule for parents who still choose to vaccinate their children.

Read more from WSVN 7 (Fox Miami).

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Police actively investigating bomb threat that led to evacuation of downtown Miami building

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MIAMI, Fla. — A building in downtown Miami has been evacuated as police say they investigate a bomb threat.

City of Miami Police units have responded to the building, located at 300 SE 3rd St., Sunday afternoon.

Investigators said they received a call about the bomb threat just before 3 p.m.

Please check back with the Miami Standard for more updates on this breaking story.

Read more from WSVN 7 (Fox Miami).

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Rotting fish, injuries, dirty water: Feds find care violations at Miami Seaquarium for captive orca Tokitae

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A captive southern resident orca at the Miami Seaquarium for now more than 50 years was given meager rations, fed rotten fish, and forced to do high-energy jumps and tricks despite a jaw injury from fast swims, a federal inspection reported.

The findings, first reported in The Miami Herald, were publicly released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service following a routine inspection of the marine theme park over three days in June.

The Sept. 22 report, filed by the federal veterinary medical officer, details multiple violations of animal care standards.

Read more from The Seattle Times.

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