COVID-19


MANY LOCAL FIRE departments cut back or eliminated training during the height of the pandemic, but they still, of course, responded to emergencies. Photo by Mark Bouvier
08/27/2020
BRISTOL — Many area fire departments are getting back into their regular training and meeting regimens after having been temporarily sidelined by state-mandated restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. And recognizing that departments have had to curtail operations since mid-March, the Vermont Fire Academy will allow firefighters until June of 2021 to accumulate the 24 hours of annual training needed for recertification, according to New Haven Assistant Fire Chief Dean Gilmore. Firefighters are customarily required to fit that 24 hours into the calendar year. “This is mainly because at...
08/27/2020
MIDDLEBURY — As students continue to return to Middlebury College this week, college officials announced that they have begun to implement their phased Return to Campus plan, which includes the closure of the campus to the public and nonessential visitors and a period of campus quarantine for all students.  Until further notice, no one except students enrolled in in-person classes, and faculty and staff who need to be on campus for their work, is permitted on campus.  “We know this is hard for people who are so used to walking their dogs or being on campus for many other reasons to change...
08/24/2020
VERMONT — A statewide tip line for citizens to report Covid-19 violations generated more than 1,650 reports, but fewer than 50 were reported to the police and only 15 were sent to the Attorney General’s Office. A review by VTDigger shows nearly all of them were vague, inconsequential, or petty. Some involved neighbors reporting concerns about Airbnbs still apparently operating. In one case, a family member told authorities a relative was placing herself and others in danger traveling to Vermont from the West Coast. The system was set up in April as a way to centralize reports of non-...
08/24/2020
VERMONT — Late last week the Vermont Supreme Court made further declarations regarding the Judicial Emergency that was declared on March 16, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court has extended the judicial emergency to January 1, 2021, in recognition of the fact that the ongoing and dynamic nature of the pandemic will continue to impact court operations and to require changes to court operations and rules. The Court has amended the provision regarding access to court buildings to allow entry to individuals participating in proceedings other than hearings, for example case...

Gov. Phil Scott ... Independent file photo
08/21/2020
A $150 gift card could soon be sent to every household in Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott announced Friday, as part of an economic recovery package to spend the remainder of the $1.25 billion allotted to Vermont under the federal CARES Act. At his twice-weekly press conference on Aug. 21, Scott said that the Legislature had been holding off on spending about $200 million of the CARES Act funding with the hope that Congress might change the rules on how it can be spent, to give states more flexibility. But as the rules are currently written, the funds have to be spent by the end of the year. So on...
08/21/2020
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development this week launched the Restart Vermont Regional Marketing and Stimulus Grant Program. The program will provide $500,000 in grants to organizations for efforts and activities related to economic recovery, consumer stimulus, marketing, or tourism projects to support businesses that have suffered economic harm due to the COVID-19. Eligible applicants include downtown organizations, chambers of commerce, regional development corporations, municipal economic development/community development departments and committees, local community/economic...
08/21/2020
UPDATE: The positive COVID-19 test proved to be a false positive. See story update here.   MIDDLEBURY — A resident of Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center has tested positive for COVID-19, Porter Medical Center reported on Friday. Porter officials said they notified residents, family members of residents and staff of the case, which was discovered as a result of a facility-wide Phase 1 testing initiative as prescribed by the Vermont Department of Health. The resident is asymptomatic at this time and is in quarantine, as are employees who came in contact with the resident....
08/21/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Addison County’s largest employer, Middlebury College, this week began publishing a report on its website that informs the community about the status of COVID-19 on campus. Styled after the Vermont Department of Health’s online dashboard, which shows a variety of COVID-19 statistics for the state, Middlebury College’s COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard presents updated information on testing and cases on the Middlebury campus. The Middlebury dashboard prominently displays the number of new positive cases and the number of active cases of the disease caused by the coronavirus. It also...
08/21/2020
Of the many business sectors that reported COVID-19 losses to the state this summer as part of grant applications, lodging stands out. Average monthly losses during the height of the pandemic, which were used to calculate the emergency economic recovery grants, were reported at 96.6% for lodging businesses, state officials said in an Aug. 17 report to the Legislature. Food service businesses reported average monthly losses of nearly 87% in applications to the grants program. Because lodging and restaurants are still required to limit capacity in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE IS in the process of renovating Adirondack House on College Street for future use as student housing.
08/20/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College students have begun arriving on campus for the fall semester. On Tuesday, after completing a required 14-day home quarantine, about 270 student leaders made their way to Middlebury and headed immediately to the Virtue Field House, a 110,000-square-foot athletic facility that has been transformed into a high-capacity COVID-19 testing site. “(Virtue) was chosen as our arrival testing site because we needed a space that could handle a large volume of students arriving over the course of a day, that also had the air-handling capacity and parking and bathroom...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100