MONTPELIER — For nearly 15 months, Gov. Phil Scott has led Vermont through the COVID-19 crisis, relying on immense executive powers granted through the declaration of a state of emergency.
Since March 13, 2020, Vermont’s emergency status has served as a vehicle for Scott to implement drastic measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus — limiting Vermonters’ travel, shutting down in-person business operations, directing residents to quarantine and issuing a statewide mask mandate.
Over time, the governor has rolled back restrictions, slowly reopening the state.
But as virus cases...
I think often of what a privilege it is to live in the most vaccinated county in the most vaccinated state in the union. We have many good institutions and leaders to thank for that status — our schools and churches, Middlebury College, our governor and legislators, our fine health care system.
But as I look around America at the endless nonsense and propaganda that clouds many minds, I am particularly grateful for the fact that each week the Independent provides all of us with news that we have come to trust. That trust means that most of us masked up when we were asked, and got our shots...
I want to echo the message that Angelo Lynn wrote in an editorial entitled “Thanks for the Sacrifices” in the June 5 issue of the Independent. I was one of those people he wrote about “who argued loudly last summer that bringing students back to the campus was sure to spread the virus and bring tragic consequences to the community.”
I am glad to admit that I was wrong and to say a very big word of thanks to the college administration and especially the students who did so well with a difficult situation. Once again we have seen what a great asset Middlebury College is to this community!...
MONTPELIER — The full reopening of Vermont is slated for the coming weeks, but Gov. Phil Scott has jump-started one reopening measure: The lifting of a 10 p.m. curfew on Vermont businesses.
“We’ve gone from less than 30% to over 50% of the 18-to-29 age band vaccinated in the last month,” he said.
That means restaurants, bars and social clubs can operate under their normal business hours beginning Saturday, he said, unless local municipalities place additional restrictions on their area.
Scott has said he plans to drop almost all COVID restrictions when Vermont has 80% of the eligible...
Gov. Phil Scott announced at the Friday, May 21, press conference that when 80% of Vermont’s eligible population — those age 12 and older — have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the state will enter Step 4 of the Vermont Forward plan and remove its remaining health restrictions.
Vermont has held the top position for its rate of vaccination in the U.S. for weeks. As of Tuesday, May 25, 76.9% of eligible Vermonters have been vaccinated.
“This is exciting,” said Mike Smith, secretary of the Agency of Human Services, “but there is still much work to do.”
Vermont needs to reach...
VERMONT — When the pandemic struck in early 2020, military cemeteries and funeral honor guards had to limit or suspend their services, just the same as in the civilian world, but both federal and state Offices of Veterans Affairs have tried to ensure the nation’s veterans are honored for their service as they’re laid to rest.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates 142 national cemeteries and holds nearly 135,000 burials a year, but on March 23, 2020, the department announced that “committal services and the rendering of military funeral honors will discontinue until further...
That Gov. Scott set a goal of dropping all COVID-19 restrictions once the state hits 80% of Vermonters vaccinated is a worthy strategy for getting stragglers into and through the vaccination program. It’s also kind-of fun: there’s a reward for helping the state’s common good.
Moreover, the governor says he’s not stopping the push once the state hits 80%; getting as many Vermonters vaccinated as possible is the ideal goal he says, and who can disagree? The more thoroughly Vermonters are vaccinated, the less likely we will catch and/or spread the virus.
We’d even advocate for a county-by-county...
My colleagues and I at your local Health Department office wish to express our gratitude to the members of the American Legion Post 27 in Middlebury for their help in the effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Since January, the Middlebury American Legion has given the Health Department and Porter Medical Center full access to their hall for our COVID-19 vaccination clinics. The Middlebury American Legion members have been generous hosts, and we especially thank Adjutant Tom Scanlon and Post Commander Laura Flint for their ongoing support and assistance.
We also want to thank the many Addison...
MILTON — Becca Brynga of Milton is pro-vaccine.
Brynga received her second Pfizer dose about a month ago, and her two kids — a 13-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son — have received every vaccine available to them.
But the relative newness of the COVID-19 vaccines has given Brynga pause about getting her kids vaccinated right away, she said in an interview last week.
Brynga isn’t alone, according to Vermont pediatricians. They’ve fielded a growing number of questions from concerned parents — mostly vaccinated themselves — about whether the vaccines are safe for their children, and what the...
When it comes to parents being unsure of whether they should give their children the vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, we get it. Parents are naturally protective; we are momma or papa bears protecting our cubs. It’s an instinct that lasts long into adulthood.
But we also understand the scientific process, and the exhaustive tests and the data to date clearly show that adults and children age 12 and over are better served by getting the vaccine than not. Parents must also consider that while the Center for Disease Control botched the initial diagnosis under the Trump administration by...