The Vermont Department of Health (DOH) today, Sunday, Nov. 22, is reporting Addison County has had 160 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in mid-March. That’s the same number as yesterday. Middlebury College in recent days has reported three new positive cases on campus, adding to an initial two student cases at the beginning of the semester and two employee cases — one in September and one early in the pandemic. The students who recently tested positive are being moved to isolation housing, and contact tracing is under way. The college has now recorded a total of six...
Vermont could see a vaccine “on its doorsteps” by Dec. 10, the state’s health commissioner, Dr. Mark Levine, said Friday at the governor’s Covid-19 press briefing. Levine noted that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer is expected to file for emergency authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their vaccine candidates by the end of the day Friday. Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech SE, have said their vaccine candidate could be available to high-risk populations in the U.S. by the middle of December. Levine said the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices, which advises the...
VERMONT — As the state grapples with the spike in COVID-19 cases that Vermont has seen in the past two weeks, Gov. Phil Scott and other officials are explaining how they came to the decision to severely limit social interactions among Vermonters just as the holidays arrive. In a press conference, Scott cited the large number of social gathering-related cases as justification for the new limit on those gatherings he imposed on Friday. He said that 71% of cases since Oct. 1 were linked to such gatherings.  “It’s mostly adults, from multiple households, getting together with friends, inside and...
ADDISON COUNTY — Due to a new law, the COVID-19 pandemic looks like it will claim another victim in 2021 — the long-held tradition of residents gathering at annual meetings and discussing business, including in many towns debating and possibly amending town budgets and other articles. Some Addison County towns already decide budgets by up-and-down Australian ballot voting, including Addison, Panton and Salisbury, and in Vergennes the city council sets spending. Still, in many towns, selectboards propose budgets to residents at annual town meetings and residents can adopt, reject or amend them...
UPDATE: On Friday the Middlebury location for the driveu-up COID testing changed to the Town Recreation Center off Creek Road in Middlebury. Local Emergency Management Director Tom Hanley said the testing will be done outside in the back parking lot of the Rec Center, using the cocoa hut and another small structure as registration/check-in and testing site. People getting tested will be given instructions and they will administer the test themselves without ever getting out of their cars. There is a great demand for COVID-19 testing right now, and Porter Hospital is expanding its drive-...
Gov. Phil Scott’s decision this past Friday to ban inter-household gatherings, while allowing schools to remain open and limited access to restaurants and bars, prompted rare public pushback among Vermonters who have been model-citizens in obeying the dictates Vermont has successfully imposed since the pandemic’s outbreak in March. Numerous letters on this page and others in today’s paper attest to that displeasure. We agree the complete ban of inter-household gatherings is stringent and may invite disregard of the state order, rather than the compliance Vermonters have demonstrated for the...
The American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and Vermont Medical Society join Governor Scott and the Vermont Department of Health in calling on Vermonters to refrain from any social gathering in order to protect and prioritize essential services like schools, child care, and health care as we see rates of community transmission of COVID-19 rise.  The new restriction on multi-household gatherings is based on epidemiology or systematic observations of how the virus is spreading in our communities. Since October 1, 71% of cases associated with an...
A modest pandemic proposal: Governor Scott, and other governors, might issue an order to lower all flags to half-staff for the duration of the pandemic to 1. commemorate the dead and 2. remind the living of our public health responsibilities to ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation and our world.  Jack Mayer, MD, MPH Middlebury    
Dear Governor Scott, I am disturbed by the unrefined nature of the recent COVID-19 mitigation pronouncement  — “Attendance at all public and private social gatherings, indoor and outdoor ... shall be limited to participation with only members of a single household.” I understand in urban areas and towns, where clusters in parks, yards and sidewalks may present close contact opportunities, that such measures are sensible. This does not account for the open spaces of rural towns and dirt roads where two residents may walk 10 to 15 feet apart and not meet another individual. I find the nature of...
I have been a strong supporter of Gov. Scott’s efforts to curb COVID-19 in Vermont. But with his most recent dictum, something has gone awry. I hope the governor and his team will consider another approach. It makes zero sense to me that under the new dictates, I can still go into a marginally ventilated restaurant and hang out with unmasked strangers while eating and drinking as much alcohol as the restaurant is willing to serve me in a marginally ventilated indoor space for the entire evening. Or I can go into a gym with others who are exercising and pump iron and exhale vigorously for...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100