MIDDLEBURY — On Friday morning, Oct. 2, just hours after learning that President Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, Middlebury College senior Benjy Renton sat down and started drawing on a piece of paper. “It was a lot of squares, lots of ‘Who tested positive’ versus ‘Who tested negative,’ to see how it spread,” Renton told the Independent. An emerging data journalist who currently works as Digital Director of the Middlebury Campus newspaper, Renton has been reporting on the pandemic since January, when he found himself temporarily stranded in Beijing during the initial outbreak. He’s...
MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott on Thursday announced that the State of Emergency has been extended to Nov. 15 to ensure the state can continue to suppress the spread of COVID-19. The executive order has been extended with no additional changes and can be viewed online here. “Vermont has led the nation in responding to this virus. We’ve worked together to keep each other safe and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed, allowing us to methodically reopen our economy and keep it open while many other states have had to take steps backward,” Scott said. “But we cannot become...
CASTLETON — On Friday, Castleton University announced that its Spring 2021 semester will feature an adjusted schedule and more options for students to receive their courses. To keep its community as safe as possible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the upcoming flu season, the university will adjust its academic calendar in the following ways: 1 - The spring semester will be delayed, with classes beginning on Feb. 1. 2 - Winter Break and Spring Break will be eliminated 3 - Refresh days for faculty and students will be built into the schedule to provide breaks 4 - Courses will be...

Sas Stewart runs an adventure dinner business from her home in Vergennes and heads On the Fly, an organization that helps restaurateurs struggling as a result of the pandemic. Courtesy photo by Kevin King
Even before the pandemic closed up businesses in March, a lot of small business owners were too focused on their day-to-day operations to do things like set up a marketing plan, create or update a website, or modernize the accounting system. Some of them are getting a chance to do that now, thanks to a $2.5 million technical assistance grant, a small slice of Vermont’s federal coronavirus funding designed to help keep businesses afloat so they’re ready to return to full operation when the COVID-19 crisis eases. Five organizations applied for a share of the grant, and all five received money...
MONTPELIER — Vermonters who have seen COVID-19 affect their employment can access more than 100 free classes and training opportunities this fall through the Vermont State Colleges System, thanks to a $2.3 million allocation of Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the Vermont Legislature. Funding provides tuition, supplies and support services to Vermonters who have been laid off, furloughed, had hours cut, or been employed in an industry that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible Vermonters can enroll in a wide variety of classes and training at the Community College...
A Shoreham apple orchard linked to a recent COVID-19 outbreak was the subject of five public health complaints, including several about COVID protocol. The Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or VOSHA, received five complaints from either an employee or customer at Champlain Orchards between July and October, according to records obtained by VTDigger. The anonymous complaints alleged that workers weren’t following quarantine rules, weren’t wearing masks, and had unsafe working and living conditions. Less than a week after the last complaint, 27 workers tested positive for...
SHOREHAM — After closing down more than a week ago to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 among its staff, Champlain Orchards is open again for pick-your-own apples. "It’s been quite a week here at Champlain Orchards, but we’ve all persevered thanks to the love and support we’ve received from you," wrote orchard officials in an email to their customers Saturday morning. "Our staff has completed our third round of testing and we are relieved to report that no additional positive tests have occurred." The Shoreham orchard, which is owned and operated by Bill Suhr and Andrea Scott, closed abruptly on...
MIDDLEBURY— It’s going to be quieter than usual on the Middlebury College campus this winter. College officials on Thursday announced that Middlebury’s January term will be held remotely and that students will not begin arriving for the spring 2021 semester until Feb. 24-25. “One of the biggest challenges for the coming months is the availability of indoor spaces for classrooms, dining and other activities,” wrote President Laurie Patton, Provost Jeff Cason and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration David Provost in a campus-wide announcement. “That is why, after careful...
This story, originally published on Monday, October 5, was updated on Wednesday, October 7. The total count of cases among seasonal apple pickers is now up to 28, according to an email from the orchard. SHOREHAM — Champlain Orchards closed temporarily, after 27 seasonal apple pickers tested positive for COVID-19. The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) reported Monday morning that there were 26 positive cases at the Shoreham orchard, and at a Tuesday morning press conference Commissioner of Health Mark Levine announced that a late-arriving batch of test results revealed one additional case....
I applaud the Commodores boys’ soccer players (photo on Page 2A, Oct. 1 Addison Independent) on their gusto but, as has been pointed out ad nauseum, if you’re not covering your nose you might as well take the mask off.  John Pratt New Haven


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Addison County Independent

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