COVID-19

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...

A map of counties that meet Vermont’s requirements is updated weekly.
06/26/2020
In a bid to help Vermont’s struggling tourism businesses, some of which make most of their money in the summer and fall, the state is opening the borders to travelers from as far away as Ohio, Virginia and the District of Columbia without quarantining. “There are now about 19 million people who can travel to Vermont free of a quarantine requirement,” said Mike Pieciak, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, who has been handling COVID-19 modeling for the state since the crisis began earlier this year. “We anticipate seeing continued improvement over the weeks ahead,...

LYNN COALE, THE former head of the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center, will be leaving his job as director of the Addison County Relocalization Network next week. The nonprofit that promotes local farms is suffering a cash crunch after its two biggest sources of funds were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
06/26/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — The Addison County Relocalization Network has cut its top administrator and is honing its mission after experiencing a major revenue shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The non-profit, known as ACORN, was established a dozen years ago with a mission of revitalizing “the health of our land, our local economy and our local communities so they can provide sustainable sources of food, water, energy, employment and capital while promoting conservation and a healthy environment.” To that end, the organization has become a force in the local food movement, and has created...

IN ANTICIPATION OF reopening this fall, Middlebury College has contracted with a telehealth company to help provide counseling, psychiatric, nutritional and medical services to students, no matter where they are physically. Health Services is also working with other departments to ensure that all students receive regular information about mental health and medical self-care. Independent photo/Alexa Lapiner
06/25/2020
This story, which was first published online on Monday, June 22, was updated on Thursday, June 25. MIDDLEBURY — Encouraged by modeling reports projecting low levels of COVID-19 in Vermont this autumn, Middlebury College officials say that they will reopen the campus to residential students for the fall 2020 semester. “While this fall will look much different than at any time in our history, I am grateful that we will be able to come together again in a way that upholds educational opportunity while maximizing the health and safety of the entire Middlebury community,” wrote President Laurie...
06/22/2020
“A common danger unites even the bitterest of enemies,” said the philosopher Aristotle. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines that separate people of color and whites, and it continues to shine a light on the terrible effect that white supremacy and structural racism have had historically in America. COVID emerges, and with it, disparities Although the first known case in the U.S. was Jan. 20, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t make it into national news until early February. Several weeks later, on March 27, five U.S. lawmakers (Sens. Harris, Brooker, Warren, Pressley, and...
06/22/2020
Charles Keating thought he might have had Covid-19 in March. His mother-in-law tested positive for the virus around that time, and soon afterward, he lost his sense of taste and smell. In early June, the 34-year-old Bolton resident got confirmation that his hunch was right. Keating, his wife Samantha, and both his in-laws all tested positive for Covid antibodies. He had his blood drawn at ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care in South Burlington, and the test result, which arrived the next morning, showed that he had the antibodies that fight coronavirus.  “It gave me a little peace of mind,” Keating...
06/19/2020
While plastic bag bans in some parts of the country have been rolled back during the pandemic, Vermont’s single use bag prohibition will still go into effect in just a few weeks. However, fears that reusable bags can act as potential vectors for the coronavirus, which state officials say appear to be largely unfounded, are complicating the transition away from disposable bags. Last year, lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting grocers, retailers and restaurants from handing out plastic bags starting this July. (Plastic bags used for dry cleaning, flowers, packaging loose produce and other food...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100