COVID-19

03/19/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The list of restaurants, inns and businesses that have closed — or have dramatically changed their business plans — continues to grow by the day (see related story). But closing is not an option for many local nonprofits, who will only see demand for food, clothing and debt relief grow as the coronavirus transitions from threat to reality in our region. Officials at Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects (HOPE) and Addison Community Action/Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (ACA/CVOEO) anticipate a surge in assistance requests from a growing number of area residents who...
03/19/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County school districts are organizing efforts to feed children while classes are out of session due to the coronavirus. Many low-income families depend on school breakfasts, lunches and snacks to nourish their children while relieving financial burden. All public schools in Vermont were ordered closed by Wednesday, March 18 — most Addison County Schools closed on Tuesday. This raised concerns about the nourishment void this might create for children. As the Independent went to press on Wednesday, here are the efforts the Addison Central, Mount Abraham, Addison...
03/19/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — State lawmakers and officials have already taken a number of steps to provide financial relief to workers, businesses and families affected by the novel coronavirus crisis, and are working on more. Rep. Matt Birong, D-Vergennes, said bureaucrats and lawmakers are teaming up in Montpelier as quickly as possible in an unprecedented situation to respond to Vermont residents’ needs. “Everybody’s been working extremely well together,” said Birong, who is both a small business owner (3 Squares Café in Vergennes) and a legislator. “Nobody’s got a playbook for this, right? We’re free...

KIANA FRENCH, GREENHOUSE manager at Last Resort Farm in Monkton, sorted purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes for market this past week. Like many farmers around the state, Last Resort faces a number of uncertainties because of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of Silas Doyle-Burr/Last Resort Farm
03/19/2020
MONKTON — Like farmers everywhere right now, Silas Doyle-Burr of Last Resort Farm in Monkton is struggling with a lot of uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds. “We’re really just getting started in terms of growing,” he told the Independent Wednesday morning. “We have greens in our greenhouses and we’re doing micro-greens. We have value-added products and still have some roots in storage.” The Burlington Farmers Market closed its March and April events, which has left Last Resort with fewer options for selling its produce. And yet, Doyle-Burr explained, “We’ve seen a significant...
03/19/2020
MIDDLEBURY — In an effort to do its part in the coronavirus crisis, Middlebury College is removing the ice from the Kenyon Arena hockey rink so the space — if needed — can be used to deploy a “portable hospital” for COVID-19 patients. Middlebury President Laurie Patton emphasized that there is no immediate need at this time to erect the portable hospital. The college is just making sure the space will be ready if needed.  “In the Kenyon Arena and other parts of our athletic structure, town and college citizens come together to watch games, to share stories, and just be together,” Patton said...
03/19/2020
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Labor, overwhelmed with claims for unemployment benefits and questions from business owners and workers during the COVID-19 crisis, has increased its staff, added a second phone line, and created an electronic form for initial unemployment claims, according to a Wednesday afternoon press release. Those actions follow persistent problems reported about the DOL being unable to answer its main unemployment insurance claims line due to the volume of calls.  The electronic form, created in conjunction with the Agency of Digital Services, will allow workers to...

THE ADDISON INDEPENDENT is modeling best practices for avoiding the spread of coronavirus by nearly emptying our office and having people work from home. Staff photo
03/19/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Independent has swung into coronavirus mode. We’ve created a special Coronavirus Electronic Newsletter that we’ve sent out four times in the past two weeks and that we’ll keep running as long as needed through this current health crisis. It includes staff-written and breaking news stories on how this pandemic is affecting Addison County residents, what to do if you’re feeling sick, best practices to avoid infection, and how area residents and businesses are coping with the disruption. We have essentially turned our newsroom in a coronavirus headquarters with daily...

JANE LINDHOLM
03/19/2020
Local schools are now closed, until at least April 6, to contain the spread of COVID-19. Libraries are closed. Restaurants are closed. Many parents are scrambling for childcare, or scrambling to suddenly homeschool their children, or just scrambling to stay sane and calm. It’s hard coming up with fun stuff to do with kids when you’re also balancing work changes, uncertainty and anxiety. So we asked three creative Addison County parents to share their recommendations.    KURT BRODERSON, executive director of MCTV and technology coordinator at Ilsley Library: As the Technology Coordinator at...
03/19/2020
The coronavirus is here and most of us have two overarching questions: what can we do to protect and take care of our immediate families, and what can we do to help others in the community. We’ve belabored the first question with stories on social distancing, hand washing and other protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19. Now, 10 days into this rapidly moving pandemic, those who can must rise to the county’s next challenge — taking care of those most in need.  As reporter John Flowers notes in a front-page story in today’s Addison Independent, while restaurants, bars, many retail stores and...
03/19/2020
For most of us, these are unprecedented times. We’re witnessing a global pandemic that threatens thousands of lives, and is cratering the national and world economy — all in a matter of weeks. That’s an incredible change to absorb in such a short time. We will be reeling from this onslaught for the next several weeks, and judging by the experiences of Italy, France and Spain, it will keep getting worse long before it gets better. But it will get better. As Annie sang in the depths of the Great Depression, the sun will come out tomorrow. Holding that optimistic thought, let’s catch our breath...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100