Vermont Dashboard

Vermont Dashboard

December 2, 2020 COVID-19 Case Data Update

The number of COVID-19 cases in Vermont now includes probable cases that have been reported to the Health Department since September 6, 2020. 

A case is considered “probable” if the person  

  • tested positive on an antigen test and has symptoms of COVID-19 or epidemiologic evidence, or 
  • has symptoms of COVID-19 and is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

This change is reflected in the Vermont Dashboard, the Weekly Data Summary and COVID-19 in Communities reports. The dashboard tab with the graph describing cases and deaths now separates probable cases. For more information, read “What is a probable case?”

Dashboard Data - Frequently Asked Questions

How do you collect the data presented in the dashboard?

The Health Department receives lab results for COVID-19. When positive, epidemiologists and other public health officials work with the doctor to provide additional details, as well as interview the person. We ask questions about exposures, symptoms, and contacts the person may have had while they were ill.

When I add the number of cases today to the number of total cases from yesterday, it doesn’t equal the number of total cases today. Why?

Sometimes when more information is learned about someone who tested positive, they are no longer counted in our totals. For example, we might learn that the person doesn’t actually reside in Vermont because the original address provided is outdated.

Why do the number of new cases from a few days ago sometimes change?

The Health Department wants to ensure we provide the most timely data possible. Therefore, it may be subject to change as we learn new information. To share data quickly, we post it daily and sometimes we have to go back and update it for accuracy. The Health Department is committed to providing the most accurate data possible.

Are people who live out-of-state included in the number of people hospitalized and hospitalized under investigation?

Yes, if they are hospitalized in Vermont.

Who is included in the number of people who have recovered?

The number of people recovered is based on the number of confirmed positive cases. This includes Vermont residents and non-Vermont residents who tested positive in Vermont.

The number of people who have recovered does not include people who have died and people who are hospitalized.

How is the number of people who have recovered determined?

The number of people who are recovered is estimated in two ways:

1) People who have tested positive for COVID-19 report they have recovered to our investigation teams during their follow-up calls.
2) Thirty days or more have passed since the date the person’s illness began. (If that information is not available, we use the date the positive test is reported to the Health Department.)

Collecting recovery data is not something epidemiologists normally do in disease investigation. Because of this new challenge, this method provides us our best estimate, and many other states are reporting recovery data this way.

If a person had no symptoms when they tested positive, would they still be considered “recovered”?

Yes, anyone who falls into either of the above categories will be considered recovered, whether they had symptoms or not.

Can I use the number of people recovered to know how many people are actively sick with COVID-19 in Vermont?

This number does not tell us who is actively sick with COVID-19 in Vermont. This is because:

1) We think there are people with COVID-19 who haven’t been tested (therefore we don’t know about them), and
2) People we do know about may be recovered – we just haven’t reached out to them yet or we haven’t deemed them recovered yet.

How does someone who had COVID-19 know that they've recovered?

Someone has recovered from COVID-19 when all three of these have happened:

  • It has been 24 hours of no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication, and
  • Other symptoms have improved, and
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

If someone didn't have symptoms when they were tested, recovery is when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test and they still have not had any symptoms.

How are you counting the total number of people tested?

The number of people tested reflects tests for a current COVID-19 infection. It includes people tested in Vermont and Vermont residents tested out of state, either by public health lab, hospital lab, or reference lab. This is the number of individuals tested, not the number of specimens. It does not include serology tests (also known as antibody tests). If someone was tested more than once, they are reflected in the data only one time, on the date of their first test.

Once a week, the Data Team runs a program that improves data quality by removing duplicates from the number of people tested. Because of this, the number of people tested may drop slightly on the data dashboard Tuesday update.

What is included in the number of travelers monitored?

It includes travelers who are being monitored in Sara Alert, which provides free daily symptom check reminders for 14 days while they are quarantining. People traveling to Vermont from out of state are strongly encouraged to enroll in Sara Alert.

Sara Alert allows COVID-19 response teams to quickly and easily provide guidance to people if they develop symptoms. It is not GPS-based, so it does not monitor someone’s movement or track their location. For more information about Sara Alert, visit the travel page.

What is included in the number of contacts monitored?

It includes close contacts who are being monitored in Sara Alert, which provides free daily symptom check reminders for 14 days while they are quarantining. People who are identified as close contacts of people with COVID-19 are enrolled unless they opt out.

Sara Alert allows COVID-19 response teams to quickly and easily provide guidance to people if they develop symptoms. It is not GPS-based, so it does not monitor someone’s movement or track their location. For more information about Sara Alert, visit the travel page.


What is included in the number of people who have completed monitoring?

Travelers and close contacts who are enrolled in Sara Alert that have completed the 14 day symptom checking period. 

How can I see county-level case data?

On the "County-level Case Info" tab on the dashboard, select a county to see the new cases by date, cumulative cases, cases by sex, and cases by age group for that county. Deselect the county to see statewide data.

Why do county totals change?

Sometimes the Health Department receives positive results with little to no contact information. We use the county where the person sought care if the person's residence is unknown. When we learn more about the case, we then update the county appropriately. Vermont residents are included in the Vermont county where they reside. People who tested positive for COVID-19 in Vermont while visiting or seeking care are included in the Vermont county where they were identified.

What is included in the Recent Cases map? 

The Recent Cases map reflects the total number of cases and total number of deaths in each county reported during the last 14 days. Looking at the number of recent cases by county gives us a better sense of where COVID-19 is most active geographically. 

Why isn’t there a map showing recent cases by town? 

Federal and State Laws are in place to protect privacy. For privacy reasons, the Health Department reports recent cases by county, and not by town. 

Are counties with low or no recent cases safer? 

We know the virus is in our communities and we should continue to follow health guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 – no matter what county we live in or visit. The cases on the map reflect people who had a positive test. There may be active cases in your county that haven’t been tested. 

Should I avoid counties with high numbers of recent cases? 

No matter what county we live in or visit, we should continue to follow health guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

What is included in the “Percent of Population Tested by County” map?

The map includes the percent of each county’s population that have been tested for COVID-19. People are reflected in their county of residence, not the county where they were tested.

How can I make a graph bigger?

There are a few ways to make the graphs and sections bigger. 1) Click and drag the border around a graph to make it bigger. 2) Click on the expand button in the upper right corner of a section to make that section larger. 3) Some graphs have a slider that enables you to zoom in to specific dates.

Has the Health Department made the dashboard data sources available on the Vermont Open Geodata Portal?

Yes, there are four COVID-19 data sets available on the Vermont Open Geodata Portal: hospitalizations by date, daily counts statewide, cumulative cases by county, and daily counts by county. Data can be viewed in a table on the website or downloaded.

All data are compiled by the Vermont Department of Health, and are preliminary and subject to change. To allow time for analysts to verify an increasing volume of data, the dashboard will be updated no later than 12:00 p.m.. Case information reflects counts as of end of the previous day.

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