COVID-19


DR. PACO CORBALAN, a physician with Middlebury Pediatrics, believes the best defense against the Delta variant of COVID-19 is to get as many eligible people vaccinated as possible. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — State and local health officials urged unvaccinated Vermonters to consider the emergence of the Delta variant of the coronavirus as a wake-up call to finally get a COVID-19 vaccination. Delta is a highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain, first identified in India back in December. The first Delta case in the United States was diagnosed in March and it is now the dominant strain in the U.S., according to the CDC. Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine told the Independent that the Delta variant is 60% more transmissible than the prior incarnation of COVID-19. Consequently,...
Careful what you wish for. Last week I wrote in the Minibury e-newsletter about pining for the simpler days of last summer. This week there is nothing on my calendar, and I’m not happy about it: My family is on Day 6 of quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. Here’s what happened: My brother and his family came to visit from California. We all got together at my parents’ house for dinner: six fully vaccinated adults, four children under age 8. The next day my sister-in-law, who had been feeling tired and run down but chalked it up to the stress of travel, tested positive for COVID. Two...
HANCOCK — The Hancock Selectboard met this past week, during which Richard Andrews reported that he will not be bidding on the mowing contract in the fall. He also said that a sign noting weight restrictions still remains at the end of Tunnel Brick Road. But the big discussion of the meeting was the excessive speeding rates of large trucks on Route 125. According to minutes of the meeting, no resolution was reached. The board also discussed which grant funds were available to the Town of Hancock through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funding (CLFRF), which are necessary for the board...
ADDISON COUNTY — The Vermont Department of Health (DOH) today, Wednesday, July 14, is reporting Addison County has registered one new case of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours, and a total of five during the past two weeks. The county has recorded a total of 1,071 confirmed cases since the pandemic began more than 16 months ago. The state of Vermont has vaccinated more than 80% of its citizens who are eligible (ages 12 and up) to receive the COVID-19 shot. As of Wednesday, 458,954 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Here in Addison County, 81.7% of the eligible population...
Health Commissioner Mark Levine told Vermonters on Tuesday that the best way to create a wall of protection against COVID-19 this fall and winter is to get vaccinated — and to talk to their family members about getting the vaccine, too. Roughly 82.4% of Vermonters ages 12 and older have started the vaccination process. But Levine is still concerned about the remaining 18% and the best choices for their health. “If you are a parent or a grandparent of someone who is not vaccinated … have a conversation with them, but don’t take [your] role as having to convince them,” he said at Gov. Phil...

CHILDREN ATTENDING MARY Hogan School last fall all wore masks because of COVID-19, but now with universal mask mandates gone, parents have to decide on masks for their children. Independent file photo/Megan James
ADDISON COUNTY — When Gov. Phil Scott last week announced that all state COVID-19 guidelines would be lifted since Vermont has vaccinated 80% of its eligible population, the recommendation that kids under 12 years old continue to wear masks indoors remained. What to do with that recommendation is entirely up to parents and guardians, and it isn’t necessarily an easy decision. Lauren Young, co-owner of Rainbow Pediatrics and a mother of two, said she had mixed feelings in response to Scott’s announcement. “It does feel a bit challenging with kids still being unvaccinated,” she said. Young...
MONTPELIER — It’s been a week since Vermont lifted all COVID-19 restrictions — and the skies didn’t fall. On the contrary, as Gov. Phil Scott emphasized in Tuesday’s press conference, new case numbers continue to decrease throughout the state, Vermonters continue to get vaccinated and things just might be looking up. COVID-19 cases fell under 5,000 in New England this week, the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic, despite all six states having fully reopened. Vermont saw only 38 new cases and has only recorded one COVID-related death in the past five weeks. Scott said he anticipates...
Let’s hope Vermont is looking in the rearview mirror at the coronavirus pandemic. Have we learned anything about health care? Most people agree that Vermont did better than most states at controlling the spread of the virus, and now, with 80% of the eligible population having received at least one dose of the vaccine, we are the national leader. So what have we learned? For one thing, it looks like if we make health care a public good in Vermont, available free of charge at point of service, a lot of Vermonters will avail themselves of that service and get the care they need. Of course,...
ADDISON COUNTY — People who live and run businesses in Addison County are thrilled about the end of COVID-19 restrictions, which Gov. Phil Scott rescinded this week as the 15-month pandemic winds down. “(I’m) really just happy,” said Ian Huizenga, co-owner of Hired Hand Brewing and Bar Antidote in Vergennes. “It’s like a breath of fresh air.” Restaurants and bars were hit particularly hard by the social-distancing rules imposed by the state’s emergency health orders, because they either couldn’t serve customers inside or faced limits on occupancy and hours of operation. Huizenga said he...

Gov. Phil Scott this morning signs the order directing state agencies to end special COVID-19 restrictions now that more than 80% of Vermonters have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott this morning lifted all state COVID-19 restrictions. The State of Emergency, in place since March 13, 2020, will expire at midnight tomorrow. The order came after the announcement that Vermont yesterday became the first state to vaccinate over 80% of eligible residents, making it the global leader in COVID-19 vaccinations. “Vermont has shown the world what’s possible,” Gov. Scott said in this morning’s press conference. “We are here only because of the unity of the people of Vermont, whose commitment to their neighbors and care for each other never wavered.” The...

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Addison County Independent