State officials said the recent uptick in COVID cases across Vermont was expected and not cause for worry or change in course. During last week’s media briefing, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine addressed the rise of Omicron’s BA2 subvariant and recent cases, which were up 29 percent week over week, but still significantly lower than the Omicron peak from January. “This is not unexpected with this subvariant, which is even more transmissible than the original Omicron variant,” said Levine. “The good news is so far hospitalizations have increased slightly, but again are nothing like it was at the peak of Omicron. Levine says the state continues to focus on hospitalizations and hospital capacity. He noted a report from Vermont’s hospitals that indicate of the people hospitalized with COVID, only 40 percent were actually at the hospital to receive treatment for COVID; the rest were at the hospital for other reasons and happened to test positive.