COVID-19


STUDENTS IN THE Medical Professions program at the Hannaford Career Center may have been used to masks and PPE, such as this trio sighted near the end of last year, but for many people the imposition of serious measures to stop disease transmission was something they didn’t experience until coronavirus arrive. Photo courtesy of PHCC
ADDISON COUNTY — It’s been a year; it’s been a long year. As the seriousness of the impending emergency became obvious, the front of our March 12, 2020, edition featured a banner all the way across the top saying “Coronavirus Watch.” It featured stories on how Porter Hospital and county schools were prepping for COVID-19. Middlebury College sent its students home and readied for online classes. The following Monday, back when we had a Monday edition, we looked at how elder care facilities were tightening up, Porter was limiting visitors, and milk prices were plummeting as transportation...

PORTER MEDICAL CENTER President Tom Thompson
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center President Tom Thompson is asking his managers to be frugal during the coming months in an effort to reduce a budget deficit produced in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent email to the PMC community Thompson noted the organization has seen a $93,000 loss during the first four months of its fiscal year 2021, which began in October. Porter officials had been counting on a $413,000 gain at this point He attributed the red ink to the fact that some patients continue to postpone medical care out of concern over the coronavirus. As was the case with...
A judge ruled against the owner of a former UPS franchise Friday in Vermont’s first legal test of the state mask mandate, ordering him to comply with masking rules if he wants to keep running his store. The civil decision against Andre “Mike” Desautels — who drew controversy in recent months for his defiance of the state’s mask mandate — came after a several court hearings in the last week. “Desautels stated clearly at the hearing that his intent is to not wear a mask,” Orleans County Judge Mary Miles Teachout wrote in the decision. “There is no evidence that he will not be continuing...

PORTER HOSPITAL Oliver Parini photo, courtesy of Vermont Integrated Architecture
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center President Tom Thompson is asking his managers to be frugal during the coming months in an effort to reduce a budget deficit produced in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent email to the PMC community, Thompson noted the organization has seen a $93,000 loss during the first four months of fiscal year 2021. By contrast, Porter officials had been counting on a $413,000 gain at this point He attributed the red ink to the fact that some potential patients continue to postpone medical care out of concern over the coronavirus. As was the case with hospitals...
MIDDLEBURY — Hundreds of Addison Central School District educators will get access to COVID-19 vaccinations at a special clinic to be offered at Middlebury Union High School on Tuesday, March 16. The Vermont National Guard will coordinate the event, which will be the only vaccination site for the ACSD, according to district Superintendent Peter Burrows. “They will be administering the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and we will have a follow-up clinic for the second dose three weeks later,” Burrows told the Independent. “At this time, eligible staff include all full-time staff, part-time...

CONNIE MILLER OF Bridport receives her first shot of COVID-19 vaccine from a Vermont state employee at the American Legion Hall in Middlebury on Jan. 28. Miller, age 77, has since got her booster shot and sounds ecstatic to have her vaccinations complete. She said the first shot went fine, but 12 hours after she received the second shot she experienced nausea, dizziness and headache for about 12 hours, but she has been fine since then. Her husband, Paul Miller, a first responder, got his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in January. Photo by Paul Miller
Gov. Phil Scott announced at Friday’s press conference that effective March 5, people who are vaccinated can gather with other vaccinated individuals at their homes. “For example, if eight fully vaccinated individuals wanted to get together at someone’s house for dinner, they’re now able to do so,” Gov. Scott said. “This can also include one other household that is not vaccinated.” Gov. Scott acknowledged this will likely lead to other questions, and he expects to have further announcements next week. The governor on Friday said he expects his administration’s restart team will be ready to “...

DEB WESLEY, CEO of Addison County Home Health & Hospice, dispenses a COVID-19 injection to Middlebury resident Pat Durfee last week. ACHH&H is in its third week of vaccinating homebound seniors, most of whom see the COVID shot as a passport to reconnecting with family members they haven’t seen during the year- long pandemic. Photo courtesy Maureen Conrad
NEW HAVEN — It’s early Thursday morning, and the spacious Addison County Home Health & Hospice (ACHH&H) headquarters off Route 7 in New Haven is almost empty. The vast majority of the agency’s 60 clinical staff has already been dispatched to all corners of the county, caring for patients too sick or frail to travel during this, the winter of COVID-19. But two ACHH&H officials remain inside the building, their eyes darting tensely between a clock and a window view of the parking lot outside. They’re waiting for the delivery truck that will signal the start of what will be a 15-hour...

THE STUDENT LOTS at Middlebury College have the typically large number of cars with out-of-state place parked there, but also seen are reminders that students are not allowed to leave campus.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College has completed its initial three rounds of COVID-19 testing for newly arrived spring term students, and while the college has identified more positive cases among spring arrivals than it did among those arriving last fall, the results are still promising. After three rounds of testing, the college has identified six positive cases among 2,024 residential students. All six students are currently in isolation and receiving care from the college, and another 20 are quarantined as close contacts. This was not unexpected. “With the increased incidence of COVID-19...
With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine coming online and the federal pharmacy program ramping up, Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday that school staff, child care workers and more Vermonters with high-risk conditions would become eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine starting next week. Phase 5 of the state’s vaccination program will open March 8, Scott said, which will include high-risk Vermonters aged 55 and over. Starting March 15, those with the same high-risk conditions aged 16 and over will become eligible.  School staff and child care workers will also become eligible March 8, and...
MIDDLEBURY — The Mary Johnson Children's Center (MJCC) closed its Middlebury program early today, Monday, Feb. 22, and is discussing potential reopening protocols with Vermont Department of Health officials in wake of a positive COVID-19 test registered by a member of the MJCC community. Ilana Snyder, a longtime administrator at the MJCC, confirmed that news early this afternoon. She stressed this news only affects MJCC's Middlebury-based program. “We closed early today and will let people know when we can reopen,” she told the Independent. “We are closing until we can determine with the DOH...

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Addison County Independent