COVID-19

07/06/2020
The top contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in August are criticizing Gov. Phil Scott for his reluctance to mandate face coverings in public spaces, even as almost every other governor in the Northeast has come around to the idea.  Scott’s handling of the coronavirus has been largely applauded by his Democratic rivals, who have focused their attacks on the governor’s opposition to progressive climate policies, paid family leave and a $15 minimum wage.  However, as Vermont has become a regional outlier on the issue of face masks, and with weeks until the primaries, initial...
07/06/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Department of Health (DOH) today, Monday, July 6, reported a total of 68 Addison County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 thus far, a number that has remained stable for more than a week. The DOH provides limited data on town-by-town coronavirus cases. According to that data, Vergennes has reported 11 COVID-19 cases thus far, Bristol has had eight, and Orwell six. None of Addison County’s 21 other communities have reported more than five cases, according to the DOH. Statewide, 1,251 Vermonters have tested positive for the coronavirus so far, according to the...

KEITH MATTISON
07/02/2020
WHITING — Keith Mattison’s battle with COVID-19 has left him with serious health ailments that appear to be worsening. The Independent reported on May 21 that Mattison — a 67-year-old Whiting resident who had led a busy, healthy life — had been dealing with immense fatigue and undergoing dialysis in the aftermath of a lengthy struggle with the coronavirus.  The longtime plumber began feeling COVID-19 symptoms back on April 2. He initially thought he had the flu, but subsequent tests confirmed he was one of a few dozen (at the time) Addison County coronavirus patients. His illness was marked...
07/02/2020
It’s remarkable to me how guidance to put a cloth covering on our face sparks debate, resentment or even anger. Why is something so trivial so hotly contested? Why do those who refuse to do so feel shamed by those who do? Perhaps it’s because the perceived criticism finds its mark. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”  Those who would assert their “freedom” to not wear a mask, regardless of its impact on the larger public, have become complacent in the languor of freedoms gained by those who fought and died for them throughout the nation’s history. In World War II, when more than 400,...
07/02/2020
The recently announced plans for reopening of Middlebury College this fall pose new risks for college employees, students and the larger community. I recognize the college faces a very difficult set of circumstances. But the current plans regarding testing and campus population density fall short of providing for adequate public health and safety. As a college alum and local resident, I greatly appreciate what the college adds to the community. Moreover, college President Laurie Patton and her team have made great progress in areas that benefit the county, including production of cleaner,...
07/02/2020
Regardless of political persuasion and a strong belief in individual rights, the novel COVID-19 virus only seeks cells to invade in any host available. It is a successful and sneaky expert in doing so. We have the freedom here to use medical knowledge and information to protect ourselves, each other, and the economic recovery by freely choosing to do one simple thing: Wear a mask in public and in indoor spaces where the public interacts. We can “win.” We can shut down the virus by our knowledge and actions. I have been impressed with Phil Scott’s management of the health and economic threats...
07/02/2020
Given the severity of the COVID-19 crisis at home, it can be easy to forget that a pandemic is an inherently global issue. As much pain as the pandemic has caused nationwide and in our local community, this is not the time to turn inward and ignore the impact this virus is having in lower-income countries worldwide, especially since the stability of the international community is in our interest as Vermonters. COVID-19 presents a significant health risk to people living in communities without access to healthcare and testing, especially in countries already fighting diseases like Tuberculosis...
06/29/2020
Victor Guyette held up a photo of his daughter, Yvonna, on his smartphone. She was sitting on the shoulders of a fellow Marine Corps member, both wearing their camouflage uniforms. Yvonna was flexing her melon-sized biceps.  “I got her into weightlifting when she was about 10 and she took to it. She could kill me,” Guyette said with a laugh, sitting on the edge of his bed at the Holiday Inn in South Burlington.  He’s a short and stocky man with gray hair that also protrudes in flecks on his cheeks. His eyes don’t look tired when he talks about his kids. His daughter had just graduated from...

ADDISON NORTHWEST SCHOOL District Superintendent Sheila Soule
06/29/2020
VERGENNES — On March 13 Vermont school districts leaned they had just a few days to organize an orderly transition to remote learning that would last until April 6. Thirteen days later it was official: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to offer “maintenance of learning” for a couple of weeks became distance learning for the rest of the school year. As was the case around Vermont, Addison Northwest School District administrators and teachers then scrambled to come up with approaches that would meet the needs of all students throughout all grade levels. Despite some inconsistencies shown in a...
06/26/2020
The guidelines for outdoor gatherings are slowly easing. On Friday, state parks reopened, and event venues are now permitted to host 150 people outdoors and up to 75 indoors — good news for wedding planners and people who present cultural and entertainment events. The new guidelines cover event venues, arts, culture, and entertainment venues, and restaurants that serve the public. The operations can’t go above the stated 75- or 150-person limit, no matter what their fire safety occupancy. And the number of participants doesn’t include staff or vendors, state officials said at their regular...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100