COVID-19

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College reported four cases of COVID-19 on campus Friday, and the institution has announced it will now require facial coverings indoors and in all public venues on campus, effective immediately. “This update in policy is based on CDC guidance related to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Addison County,” wrote Chief Health Officer Mark Peluso and Vice President for Student Affairs Smita Ruzicka in a campus-wide memo Friday afternoon. “The county now meets the CDC’s criteria for an area with a substantial or high prevalence of COVID-19. The CDC recommends that...
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central School District community will be expected to wear masks indoors for at least the first 10 days of classes this fall, in order to give officials a chance to calculate the percentage of eligible students who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Addison Central officials are busy drafting a complete list of COVID-19 protocols that will be sent to school families next week. Superintendent Peter Burrows, ACSD lead nurse Kelly Landwehr, and the district’s recovery team are at the forefront of the planning. They’ll be taking into consideration (among...
MIDDLEBURY — As Middlebury College prepares for student arrivals next month, officials are bracing for the possibility of yet another semester spent limiting the spread of COVID-19. “Our plan remains to establish a fully vaccinated campus community, with the exception of a small number of individuals with approved exemptions, and return to as normal operations as possible with in-person classes, events and activities,” wrote Chief Health Officer Mark Peluso and Vice President for Student Affairs Smita Ruzicka in a Tuesday memo to the college community. “At the same time, we continue to...
When I sat down to write this column, I have to admit that I really struggled to decide what to write about. There’s so much going on in the world one doesn’t even know what to start with sometimes. As I thought more about it, though, and talked with friends, one of my friends mentioned that one of the things I do in much of my writing is try to pull things that are usually invisible to the surface — to make the invisible seen. When she said that, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. In some ways, my training as a border historian comes into play for this column because one thing that I always...
Liberty cannot be maintained without sacrifice. Liberty cannot prevail if those who have it refuse to do their duty. America is supposed to be the bastion of freedom and Americans are supposed to be willing to sacrifice their all for the health and well-being of their neighbors. During World War Two, millions of Americans were willing to sacrifice their all to ensure that freedom prevailed during one of the darkest times in human history. Americans on the home front sacrificed their basic rights in order to ensure that freedom would always ring. They subjected themselves to curfews, increased...
I was very excited to enroll my daughter in preschool in the fall. However, it has come to my attention that many of the early childhood education centers in Addison County do not have 100% vaccination rates among their staff. This is very upsetting because as parents of young children (who are too young to be vaccinated) we are reliant on the adults in their lives to help protect them from getting COVID. And while I realize they have a low chance of dying (if they are lucky like my daughter and don’t have underlying health conditions), there are still real health risks for children (e.g. a...

Dr. John Brumsted
BURLINGTON — The University of Vermont Health Network, which includes Middlebury’s Porter Medical Center, will require employees to either get a COVID-19 vaccination by Oct. 1, or be subject to weekly testing for the disease, which has killed 260 Vermonters and 615,000 Americans since it arrived in this country 18 months ago. UVMHN President and CEO John Brumsted, MD, said in a statement today that recent increases in COVID-19 cases in Vermont have “made one thing crystal clear: vaccination is how we control the spread and hopefully end this pandemic. “As a health care provider, our...
MONTPELIER — Vermont students will be able to return to fully in-person instruction when the school year begins this fall, with only a few state health recommendations in place, Gov. Phil Scott announced at a Tuesday press conference. With COVID-19 cases on the rise nationwide, including in Vermont, the CDC last week recommended that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, return to wearing masks indoors. Tuesday’s conference made clear that Vermont will not further these recommendations. “We have to understand that the CDC releases guidelines for the whole country, from one extreme to...
Dear Field Days Fairgoers, Regarding last week’s article in this paper, I want to dispel the negative slant portrayed towards our COVID-19 thinking and preparations. I personally work for the Vermont Department of Health and have been entrenched in COVID response since the outset. I have listened to Dr. Levine in all our briefings to get specific information related to Vermont and fairs and brought that information to the Field Days board at every step we have taken in the process of opening Field Days this year. We have had many discussions around the best and safest ways to bring this event...

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,...

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Addison County Independent