COVID-19


Kim Hornung-Marcy, pastor of the North Ferrisburgh United Methodist Church, delivers a Palm Sunday service including a sermon via a video posted through Vimeo on the NFUMC website.
ADDISON COUNTY — Chapter 18, verse 20 of the Book of Matthew says of Christ, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” But since the COVID-19 pandemic has made it dangerous to gather in the pews, local church-goers are increasingly getting their spiritual nourishment online, through their computers. And the response has been so encouraging that “virtual sermons” could become part of the salvation of organized religion, according to some Addison County pastors who for the past few weeks have been preaching into a camera instead of to a group of people in a...

SMILES AND OPEN sunroofs were popular options for many of the roughly 30 vehicles that drove in Monday’s morale-boosting “Clang and Bang” parade through downtown Vergennes. The owners of this vehicle also went for the tambourine upgrade. Independent photo/Andy Kirkaldy
VERGENNES — Every evening at 7 p.m. since March 26 up to two-dozen residents have gathered in the Vergennes Union Elementary School parking lot.  Yes, they are observing the social-distancing measures officials, including Vergennes leaders, recommend during the COVID-19 pandemic — in fact, they don’t get out of their vehicles.  Instead, they wave at one another, and when the time is right they take off together on a parade through most of the city’s downtown neighborhoods, honking their horns and banging pots and pans. And they are greeted by residents of more than half the homes, who come...

COMMISSIONER AT VERMONT Department of Financial Regulation Michael Pieciak leads a discussion with other state leaders about the outlook for COVID-19 in Vermont.
Editor’s note: The following is an update from Addison County State Sen. Christopher Bray of Bristol. Coronavirus Update April 5 — WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN with the COVID-19 outbreak in Vermont? Peaking when? How many sick? And more. Here’s a link to a video presentation that is the best estimation of how COVID-19 is playing out in Vermont. Mike Pieciak, Commissioner at Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, provides a very good presentation of the models that are helping us foresee how this will continue to develop. Short answer and a take-away: (1) the peak is still 2 to 3 weeks away;...
This story originally appeared on the Vermont Sports website. On Friday, April 3, the State released a statement and formally reinforced the closure of a number of trail networks across the state. In Gov. Phil Scott’s press conference today, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources Julie Moore said this: “It’s never been more important for Vermonters to get outside, but also to stay close to home. Anyone planning to spend time outdoors this weekend should do the following. First, stay close to home. We’re fortunate to live in a place that has outstanding outdoor recreation in nature, and...
For a good long time it looked as if outdoor recreation — skinning, hiking and camping — would be our savior during COVID-19. This week, things look different. Uphill skiing has been shut down at resorts around the state and popular backcountry destinations such as Mt. Washington (shown here, during a warm day in 2018) are discouraging visitors and putting an end to the Mount Washington Avalanche Center avalanche reports. Vermont State Parks were open (though facilities are all closed, as is usually the case in the winter months). The Vermont Venture Challenge was on, encouraging people to...
As news reports circulate about business meetings on the videoconferencing platform Zoom being interrupted, the Better Business Bureau is offering advice on how businesses can protect themselves from this so-called “Zoom-bombing.” The FBI reported these two recent incidents in which an unauthorized person disrupted a video conference. In the first incident last week, a Massachusetts high school reported that while a teacher was conducting an online class using Zoom, an unidentified individual(s) dialed into the classroom, yelled a profanity and shouted the teacher’s home address. A second...
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development on Wednesday, April 1, established a COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center, a new website that is helping financially strapped businesses owners find, and navigate, the myriad state and federal programs able to provide them with critical financial lifelines to weather the ongoing pandemic. The website, found at accd.vermont.gov/covid-19, also includes resources for individuals recently laid off or furloughed amid the economic strife that has become an inescapable byproduct of COVID-19. “I think this resource center is...
Members of Vermont’s Congressional delegation have been working hard to help Vermont businesses weather the economic and health crisis. Here are some of their comments from Thursday night’s COVID-19 telephone town hall organized by Congressman Peter Welch. U.S. Rep. Peter Welch   “We, your Congressional delegation, have a fundamental responsibility to have the federal government be the economic backstop for you, and also for our state and our hospitals.”   U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy   Sen. Leahy is vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and an architect of the federal stimulus...
BRANDON — A measure being considered by the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs would put a stay on evictions, foreclosures and repossessions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium would be in addition to the halt on most evictions handed down last month by the Vermont judicial system, which effectively halted 95 percent of eviction proceedings due to the pandemic. “We don’t want people ending up on the streets, and we don’t want to tax the system any more than it already is,” said Sen. Cheryl Hooker, the Rutland County legislator who sits on the Senate...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard has asked state officials to designate the currently suspended downtown Middlebury rail bridges project as a “critical infrastructure” job, which would allow construction to resume without further delay. Plans originally called for a March 30 start for replacement of the Main Street and Merchants Row rail bridges with a 360-foot-long concrete tunnel. But that date was pushed back to April 15 as a result of Gov. Phil Scott’s coronavirus-related “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order that took effect on March 25. Project boosters have been hoping to...

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Addison County Independent