See public health news releases from recent years.
For the first time since 2020, COVID-19 was the subject of few news releases, though prevention and vaccination messaging continued. Tick and mosquito-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis returned as seasonal concerns. Health issues related to extreme heat and cold, air quality, flooding and other environmental and social justice challenges were reflected in the public health response to climate change. The ongoing substance use and opioid crisis was marked by innovations in prevention, treatment and recovery. The Health Department, with state and partner organizations also delivered on tools and programs to make Vermont an Age Strong and age-friendly place for all.
COVID-19 further evolved, and public health work transitioned to become similar to other infectious diseases. Guidance was streamlined, state-run testing sites closed as at-home testing became prevalent, and more COVID-19 vaccines became available. The Health Department also responded to a new infectious disease outbreak of mpox. Our work with other state agencies to reduce lead in school drinking water was a success, and we continued supporting older Vermonters through various programs.
Vermont’s pandemic response led the news in 2021. Vaccination took headlines as availability for vaccines and then for boosters reached one group after another, with clinics offered throughout the state. The year also saw the spread of more contagious variants of the virus. Guidance for testing and for isolation and quarantine evolved throughout 2021. Unfortunately, the opioid crisis did not subside, and news of overdoses still dominated.
As the world faced the historic COVID-19 pandemic, Vermont worked to slow the spread of the virus through prevention, testing and contact tracing. Along with a commitment to data and science, Vermonters made sacrifices and found creative solutions to support one another's health and well-being.