COVID-19

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Labor on Monday announced it will continue its Virtual Town Hall events for the week of April 13. The Department announced the events in response to the impact of COVID-19. Dates and employer-focused conversation topics for the week of April 13 include: TUESDAY, APRIL 14 Unemployment Insurance – Claimant 101 Time: 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Overview: Department of Labor staff will provide an overview of top questions the Unemployment Insurance Division has received, as well as general instruction, tips and updates to attendees. Online Link...
The Vermont Department of Health is reminding people that the Women, Infants and Children program, known as WIC, is available to all eligible families affected by COVID-19. WIC services, including new enrollments, breastfeeding support, and nutrition education are being provided by phone to align with social distancing and “Stay Home, Stay Safe” guidance. If your income has been affected by recent events, and you are pregnant or have a child younger than 5 years old, WIC can help provide nutritious foods and resources to keep your growing family healthy. The Health Department invites families...
Time. I learned long ago not to play the “what if” game. What if the tree branch didn’t break? What if the car didn’t swerve? What if the knife hit the avocado pit instead of the flexor tendon? What if the sadness that happened never happened? There are no answers to these questions that ever change the outcome. I have learned that what is most important is how we deal with the now. But, I am not perfect. I must admit to playing that game a little bit these days, but given everything that is happening in this world, I imagine that we all are. Pants. Apparently, Amazon is having a spike in...
Gov. Phil Scott on Friday extended until May 15 a “stay home/stay safe” executive order that has closed businesses, emptied streets and other public places, and put many thousands of Vermonters out of work. The order, which Scott signed March 24 in response to the mounting crisis of the spreading coronavirus, called for all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit businesses to cease all in-person operations. Scott’s office announced the extension of the order in a press release Friday ahead of an 11 a.m. press conference. Click here to read the full order. “Gov. Phil Scott today extended...
SPONSORED CONTENT: As one element of Porter’s response/preparations to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have established a new “Acute Respiratory Clinic” (ARC) at the Middlebury Primary Care office on Exchange Street. The providers at that Porter clinic care for pediatric and adult patients with COVID, ear infections, pneumonia, flu, asthma, COPD, and cardiac conditions in what is designed to be a safe setting (individually, outside in tents, with providers garbed in PPE). They perform COVID tests on sick patients and provide triaging for more advanced care. According to Dr. Deb Huber, one of the...

CONGRESSMAN PETER WELCH, shown talking with some Addison County farmers a few years back, acknowledged that the federal stimulus package to help businesses through the coronavirus recession will not do enough for dairy operations. He said Congress is working on providing more help. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
VERMONT — While saluting the work of Vermont dairy famers, Congressman Peter Welch said that Washington hasn’t yet pulled together the economic support they need to weather the economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. “Farmers need cash now,” the Vermont Democrat said during a statewide conference call Thursday afternoon. “We’ve literally closed down the economy as a result of the public health crisis, and the mechanisms that we are using in an effort to (put money in their pockets) are, I think, really insufficient.” As a result of the economic dislocation demand for milk...
MONTPELIER — In response to the increasing number of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits and inquiries to its claims center, the Vermont Department of Labor (DOL) on Friday announced it would implement an alphabetized structure for the intake of weekly claims and inquiries. The structure will take effect this Sunday, April 12. “We are asking the public for help in implementing this new call structure, as we look to help those that are in need”, said interim Commissioner Michael Harrington. “We continue to see the impact that COVID-19 has had on our community and our goal is to...

ATTORNEY GENERAL T.J. Donovan, shown in a 2017 press conference with Gov. Phil Scott, is asking local police departments to help him enforce Scott’s social distancing directive during the coronavirus pandemic.
MONTPELIER — Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan late on Thursday announced his office would be working with Vermont State Police and local police and sheriff’s departments to enforce Gov. Phil Scott’s March 13 social-distancing order. According to Donovan’s directive, his office can assess civil fines of up to $1,000 a day and criminal penalties of up to $500 and six months in jail for businesses and individuals that fail to follow the governor’s order, which is designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The statement Donovan released read, in part: “The Attorney General’s directive...
Every evening at 7 p.m. since March 26 up to two-dozen residents have gathered in the Vergennes Union Elementary School parking lot to begin a nightly car parade through downtown, honking their horns and banging pots and pans. They are greeted by residents, who come out on porches or into front yards to play saxophones, bang their own pots and pans, wave flags — do whatever they can to take a break from staying inside all day to flatten the coronavirus curve. Video by Andy Kirkaldy
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College estimates that it will lose millions of dollars in revenue this fiscal year because of COVID-19, but college officials say they’re committed to maintaining staff “wage continuity” over the next few months. “Middlebury will continue to maintain wages for all benefits-eligible employees through June 30, 2020, regardless of an employee’s accrued Combined Time Off and Sick Leave Reserve,” wrote Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration David Provost in an April 7 announcement that was posted on the college website. “We know there are insecurities and...

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Addison County Independent