COVID-19

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College will require all students, faculty and staff living, learning, or working on campus in the fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The college will make exceptions for people who have an approved medical or religious exemption. Fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since a person received the final dose of their vaccine, according to an update posted online Thursday by Middlebury President Laurie Patton, Executive Vice President David Provost and Provost Jeff Cason. “Looking ahead to the fall semester, it is increasingly clear that Middlebury’...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) will return to an in-person, five-day experience in Addison County’s shire town this August, news that comes as a blessing for movie enthusiasts and the many local lodgers, restaurateurs and store-keeps eager to serve them following a pandemic-induced hiatus. Lloyd Komesar, MNFF founder and producer, confirmed on Monday the festival has already received an impressive 378 submissions, spanning several categories, from first- and second-time filmmakers. The firm deadline for submissions is May 28. “That number is clearly on the high...

BIXBY LIBRARY VOLUNTEER Shirley Parfitt has been helping Youth Librarian DeAnna Lippman to refresh the Children’s Room to welcome families again when the Library reopens on May 18. Photo courtesy of Bixby Memorial Library.
ADDISON COUNTY — The Bixby Memorial Free Library will reopen with limited capacity starting next Tuesday, May 18. The move comes as Middlebury’s Ilsley Public Library has just opened its stacks for limited browsing and Lawrence Memorial Library plans its move from only curbside circulation to adding inside visits beginning June 1. Many library buildings closed to the public in mid-March, 2020, due to public health restrictions and safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that Vermont and Addison County have seen a drastic and continual decline in cases and hospitalizations...
The National Guardsman standing by the front door of our town’s rec center had a copy of War and Peace tucked under his arm. He wouldn’t be able to read his book for some time, because the line of people waiting for temperature checks stretched into the parking lot. I was standing in that line on a sunny April morning, ready to receive my first dose of the Pfizer vaccination against COVID-19. My fellow vaccine recipients were a diverse group: Judging by appearances, I stood in line with people of numerous races and occupations, ranging from teens to senior citizens. This may have been the...
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Department of Health (VDH), Walgreens, and Middlebury College are partnering to offer a COVID-19 vaccination clinic open to all Vermont residents age 18 and older on Tuesday, May 4. The VDH will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Middlebury College Athletics Complex on South Main Street. The clinic is open to all Middlebury College faculty, staff and students as well as the public. Registration on the VDH website is required to receive a vaccination. Registration for the clinic opened on April 29. Make an appointment online at healthvermont.gov/...

OPEN DOOR CLINIC RN Martha Redpath administers a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to a worker at a Salisbury farm in late March as part of the clinic’s push to vaccinate as many farmworkers as they can. Photo courtesy of Open Door Clinic
MIDDLEBURY — Most people see the COVID-19 vaccine as a ticket to freedom, travel and reconnecting with friends and loved ones after 14 months of pandemic-forced seclusion. Consequently, the vaccine tends to be its own best advertisement. For the most part, “if you offer it, they will come.” But not always. There are hundreds of arms to jab at farms throughout Addison County. Yet those farmworkers’ busy schedules, a lack of transportation, and a reluctance by some migrant laborers to step outside the shadows all adds up to a challenging demographic to immunize from the coronavirus. Until...
The number of Vermont COVID cases each day has fallen 61% since April 1, the steepest drop in daily numbers in a year, officials said at a press conference Tuesday. The state reported 504 cases this week, down from 797 last week. Cases are dropping in every age group, even categories with a low vaccination rate, said Mike Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, for the state’s weekly statistical presentation. As of Tuesday morning, 324,100 Vermonters had been vaccinated against COVID-19, the state reported; of those, 100,000 had received their first dose of the...

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Three sociology students at Middlebury College are trying to understand how the return of out-of-towners to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic has affected how students and townspeople perceive each other, and how that has affect each others’ habits. They are seeking Addison County residents to take an online survey that will help them make that assessment. To sweeten the deal, survey respondents will have the option to enter themselves into a raffle for a $50 gift card to Hannaford supermarket. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete, and all responses are anonymous and...
MIDDLEBURY — Following the success of their vaccine clinics in Rutland and Bennington, the Rutland Area branch of the NAACP is partnering with the Vermont Department of Health and Middlebury College to offer a clinic for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Vermonters in Middlebury on this coming Wednesday, April 28, from 4-6 p.m.  This clinic will be run by the Department of Health and open exclusively for BIPOC Vermonters and their households, including Middlebury College students, faculty, and staff. Earlier in the month, the group filled BIPOC vaccine clinics in Rutland and...
BRISTOL — The five towns of northeast Addison County — Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro — as well as the Mount Abraham Unified School District are in line for roughly $7.5 million in combined COVID-19 relief funding. More than $6 million of that will come from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). ARPA is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden last month. In Vermont ARPA funding will be distributed for state, county, municipal and school district uses in a couple of weeks, but since Vermont does not...

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Addison County Independent