Department of Health

A graph from the Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Fatalities Report released Thursday shows accidental deaths involving heroin and fetanyl in Vermont. The report notes that 2016 and 2017 data are preliminary. Find the report here:
Vermont Department of Health, Courtesy

The number of accidental overdose deaths in Vermont involving the synthetic drug fentanyl increased significantly last year, according to a new report.

A sign at Southern Vermont Medical Center explaining the visitor policy in light of the flu outbreak.
Ashley Jowett / SVMC

Hospitals are working to limit the spread of the flu as more cases are reported across Vermont.

Taps like this one at Academy School in Brattleboro were replaced after state tests discovered lead was leaching into the water.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

In November, the Department of Health announced that it was going to test 16 of the older schools around Vermont that get water from municipal sources to see if the pipes and fixtures in those buildings were leaching lead into the water. So far, they have detected unsafe levels of lead in some of the school buildings' water.

In addition to “widespread” flu outbreaks across the country this winter, the flu vaccine is only about 30 percent effective this year, according to Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.
Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont and nearly every other state in the U.S. is experiencing "widespread" flu outbreaks this winter, and the state health commissioner says the peak of flu season is still to come.

The national state average of overdose deaths is 19.8 per 100,000, which puts Vermont nearly the same as the national rate, at 22.2.  All five other New England states have rates above the national average.
NCHS data, VPR illustration

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control says Vermont had the lowest rate of drug overdose deaths in New England.

Twenty-nine people have used a lethal dose of medication prescribed by their doctors under Vermont's law that allows the terminally ill to end their own lives.

No one is happy when the Vermont Department of Health sends out a press release that opens with: "we may be in for a rough flu season."

The health department will test drinking water in 16 schools for lead, and the results could lead to a statewide testing program.

New Jersey last week set its safe drinking water standard for the chemical PFOA at 14 parts per trillion, which is lower than Vermont's standard.

According to a new report, 63 percent of those hosts are women; the average age of Airbnb host is 50 and 29 percent of the Airbnb hosts are over the age of 60.
Wachiwit / iStock

A newly issued legislative report says online home sharing services like Airbnb should be regulated locally. But one of the lawmakers who requested the study says oversight should happen on a statewide level.

A screenshot of the Airbnb website, taken Sept. 20, shows some available rentals in Vermont. A Vermont working group is studying short-term rentals, prompting Airbnb to reach out to Vermont hosts registered on the site to share their experiences.
Screenshot from

Airbnb says more than 3,600 people across the state use the online service to rent out their homes. Now the company is asking those homeowners to get involved with a statewide study that could impact the future of home sharing in Vermont.

mark wragg / Thinkstock

As the country and the state struggle with the opiate crisis, Vermont is taking action by zeroing in on one way that people can initially get hooked: narcotics that are legitimately prescribed by physicians for pain.

Amy Forliti / Associated Press

This weekend a seminar is being held in Stowe that critics say will spread misinformation about the risks of vaccines. It's topic in which science and emotion collide for parents and communities.

Whether its limiting the number of pills in a prescription or accessing treatment and therapy, insurance providers play a central role in the opioid crisis.
Fuse / Thinkstock

The continuing opioid crisis across the nation is prompting calls for action and change. In Vermont, new rules outlining how doctors prescribe opioids to patients in need of pain relief are set to take effect on July 1.

On Tuesday, state employees learned more about the contamination found in their St. Johnsbury offices.

A record number of Vermonters died last year from opioid overdoses.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's Health Commissioner says people in Bennington who consumed water with the industrial chemical PFOA have detectable levels of the chemical in their bodies.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR file

A legislative committee has permanently set Vermont's safe drinking water standard for the chemicals PFOA and PFOS at 20 parts per trillion.

Courtesy / Lake Champlain International

State officials identified a potentially toxic bloom of cyanobacteria – also known as blue-green algae – in Mallets Bay earlier this week, after they had stopped monitoring the lake for the blooms for the season.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In 2012, Vermont had 650 people in some form of treatment for opiate addiction. Today, according to Vermont Department of Health, that number has ballooned to more than 7,500. But the state still lacks the capacity needed to treat all of the addicts seeking help.