- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 30, 2020

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The Bennington Police Department is dealing with an outbreak of the coronavirus among its force.

Five officers, including the police chief, and one civilian employee have tested positive, Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd said by email on Wednesday.

The department has 26 sworn officers. “We have sufficient officers to cover all shifts and our force is providing that coverage,” Hurd said.

Town officials believe the outbreak is contained, he said. Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette worked closely with the Vermont Department of Health to make sure proper protocols were followed, including contract tracing, Hurd said.

“It is unfortunate, but as front line workers, they face greater risks than most of us,” he said. The Bennington Banner first reported on the cases.



Vermont reported 69 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday for a statewide total of more than 7,270 since the pandemic started.

A total of 24 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with six in intensive care. The state reported four more deaths for a statewide total of 134 since the pandemic began.

As of Wednesday, 11,157 Vermonters had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Health Department said.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 106.14 new cases per day on Dec. 15 to 84.86 new cases per day on Dec. 29.

The latest average positivity rate in Vermont is 2.19%. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Vermont the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test specimens using data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 2.03% on Dec. 15 to 2.19% on Dec. 29.

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