COVID-19

As we explored in the story about basic problems with our health care system, Vermonters, like Americans in general, face barriers to getting testing and treatment for COVID-19. In order to explore these barriers in the context of access to COVID-19 related health care services in Addison County, I spoke with one member of the Middlebury community who has experience navigating aspects of the health care system in Vermont for this very purpose. Here, I share this individual’s story in order to provide insight for Vermont residents and non-residents on the actions they should take if they are...

Ali Wheeler
Students in Prof. Lindsay Repka’s fall Biochem class at Middlebury College took an in-depth look at the science of coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, and created this fantastic package of stories, videos, charts and other graphics. The COVID and Community series reflects a part of our world back on us. The Middlebury College students who helped us understand COVID-19 are:

JIM GREENAMYRE
As part of our research into COVID-19 and how it affects people here in Addison County, our Middlebury College biochemistry class sought interviews with local people on the topic.  Jim Greenamyre is a retired tile worker who lives in Middlebury, Vt. He has spent a lot of the pandemic watching his community change due to challenges of the virus.  Although his own routine has not changed significantly, he has had to adapt with his daughter and wife as they take on changes in their school and work environments.  Greenamyre has kept up on his reading regarding the pandemic, and has a lot to say...

JOELLE LOGAN
As part of our research into COVID-19 and how it affects people here in Addison County, our Middlebury College biochemistry class sought interviews with local people on the topic.  Joelle Logan is a resident of Addison County who works for Project Independence, a program at Elderly Services Inc. that supports and builds community for elderly individuals in this area. In her interview, Logan talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected her family and her work at Project Independence.  Both Logan and her husband have jobs that require community outreach. With her husband teaching cooking...
More than 5,000 Vermonters have already received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Another 21,000 doses of the vaccine have arrived in Vermont, and the supply will ramp up in the weeks ahead. The priority now is to vaccinate persons who work in health care, and the residents and staff at long-term care facilities. Once these groups have received two doses of the vaccine, the program will focus on other higher-risk sectors of the population. This group is likely to include people over 75, those with underlying medical conditions, and additional groups of key workers who are in frequent...
ADDISON COUNTY — Although Gov. Phil Scott in his Tuesday, Dec. 22, press conference gave the go-ahead for schools to begin sports practices as soon as Dec. 26, local schools are opting to wait until after the current holiday break. Scott announced at the beginning of his weekly Tuesday press briefing the easing of several COVID-19 restrictions, including allowing what he called “a phased restart of youth, recreation and school sports.” He said this change does not apply to adult leagues, and spectators are still banned. Specifically, he said, youth, school and recreation teams would be...

REGISTERED NURSE KELLY Gill was all smiles as she prepared to administer the county’s very first COVID vaccine on Dec. 16. She didn’t get much sleep the night before because she was so excited to be part of the historic moment, she said. Independent photo/Megan James
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center administered COVID-19 vaccines to 193 of its frontline workers last week and was expected to inoculate another 150-170 this week, in what has become the first phase of protecting local health care professionals most likely to have contact with coronavirus-positive patients. Meanwhile, Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing residents and staff this week were slated to get their first COVID-19 vaccines through a separate program coordinated locally by HealthDirect Pharmacy Services. The plan is focused on an initial 90 Helen Porter residents and...
MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott announced at the beginning of his weekly Tuesday press briefing the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions in Vermont. He announced three central changes: •  “A small, short-term modification in our gathering policy.” Scott said each family will be allowed to gather with members of “one other trusted household” between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. That household must be from Vermont, or travel restrictions including mandatory quarantines and testing will apply. Scott said those households with members older than 65, with pre-existing conditions, or who work in health care,...
VERMONT — Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing has remained constant: the need to help fellow Vermonters is great. If you have the capacity to step in to help, please do. The Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) is in need of nurses and caregivers for both paid and volunteer positions.  DAIL has contracted with TLC Home Care, a staffing agency based out of Williston, to support emergency long-term care facility staffing needs caused by COVID-19. This professional staffing pool represents new capacity within our system and will provide for emergency...
Note: the author sent this email to Vice President Pence earlier this week You had a COVID vaccine shot — why? These first shots are for people working with the ill, people who are exposed to COVID-19 all the time. These shots are for the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. You’re out of office in two weeks, you are no longer essential personnel. You should be ashamed of yourself for taking a vaccine needed by others far more than you need it. Barbara “Shulamith” Clearbridge Middlebury  

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Addison County Independent