pandemic

ADDISON COUNTY -- An individual associated with Middlebury Union High School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an announcement Wednesday afternoon from MUHS Principal Justin Campbell. "Luckily, this individual was not in school when contagious and is following all of the guidance from the VT Dept. of Health," Campbell wrote in an email to the MUHS community. "We have been in contact with local and state health officials and all are in agreement that there are no additional restrictions or precautions needed at MUHS." According to the Addison Central School District COVID-19...
The temperature hasn’t risen above freezing all day, but the sky is a brilliant blue traversed by wispy clouds and the sun is shining on the sparkling white snow. In our front yard, my four daughters are zipping around on their skates, playing broomball on the ice rink that my husband built to keep them outdoors and active during the winter months. After a disappointingly mild December, January finally brought the requisite three days of below-freezing temperatures necessary for skate-worthy ice, and my daughters’ joyful voices proclaim that it was worth the wait.  They are young, happy, and...
Six years ago, at 5 o’clock in the morning on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my dad died. He was in his bed at home at the edge of the woods, five miles outside a northern Connecticut town. Outside: five inches of fluffy snow. A muffled world: with no breeze, each twig, every branch, was coated with white cotton. Only tiny birds came to the windows and danced on the lawn outside the dining room. Five wild turkeys slowly circled the house. They had been circling for days, as if weaving us into the warmth and quiet inside the house. At night, they flew up into the boughs hanging over the...
Middlebury College students in Prof. Lindsay Repka’s fall Biochem class took an in-depth look at the science of coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. In their studies they saw how this pandemic reaches beyond the proteins, RNA and other building blocks of life to affect people in so many aspects of their everyday lives. They reached out to experts and regular people in Addison County to understand the broad reaching implications of COVID-19 and put together a package of more than a dozen scientific explainers, reports on scientists’ strategies for neutralizing the virus, and...
STARKSBORO — A member of the learning community at Robinson Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. Mount Abraham Unified School District officials received the news on Nov. 23, according to an announcement Monday afternoon by Superintendent Patrick Reen. “We have been working closely with the Vermont Department of Health,” Reen said. “Anyone who may have been exposed has been notified and is currently expected to be in quarantine.” School officials did not specify whether the person who tested positive was a student, staff member or other member of the community. The patient may...

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD FOOTBALL FAN Dylan Hicks of Monkton watches the Middlebury College big boys practice on a beautiful late afternoon day earlier this month. Panther football and sports at the college in general provided unexpected experiences for students athletes this fall. Photo by Karl Lindholm
Katharine DeLorenzo’s Middlebury College field hockey team has won three NCAA Division III championships in a row with an overall won-loss record in that time of 62-4. This fall season, however, they didn’t win a single game! The Middlebury football team, under Bobby Ritter, was the NESCAC champion last year with an unprecedented 9-0 record (the league went from a schedule of eight to nine games just three years ago), only the third undefeated team in the last 120 years of Middlebury football history.  The Panther football team likewise didn’t win a game this fall, though Ritter said he...
VERMONT — As the state grapples with the spike in COVID-19 cases that Vermont has seen in the past two weeks, Gov. Phil Scott and other officials are explaining how they came to the decision to severely limit social interactions among Vermonters just as the holidays arrive. In a press conference, Scott cited the large number of social gathering-related cases as justification for the new limit on those gatherings he imposed on Friday. He said that 71% of cases since Oct. 1 were linked to such gatherings.  “It’s mostly adults, from multiple households, getting together with friends, inside and...

NEW ROOTS STUDENT embrace the snow. Photo courtesy of Caetlin Harwood
MONKTON — This summer, when Addison County Schools announced their plans to reopen with a hybrid of remote and in-person learning, Willowell Foundation Administrative Director Tasha Ball started getting a lot of email. “Parents were looking to us to pull something together for their children’s days off,” Ball told the Independent in a phone interview last month. Willowell, which occupies 230 acres in Monkton, operates Wren’s Nest, a nature-based program for preschool children, and the Walden Project, an outdoor alternative public education program serving students in grades 10-12. Last winter...

THE MOVIE PROJECTORS at the Marquis Theater in downtown Middlebury have been silenced by the pandemic but owner Ben Wells has plans to reopen as soon as next spring. Independent photo/Angelo Lynn
MIDDLEBURY — At least one Main Street business in Middlebury has been inactive during the pandemic, but continues to survive with the prospect of reopening next spring: The Marquis Theater. Ben Wells, owner of the Marquis, was forced to close the theater and lay off his staff when the pandemic hit last spring. He did secure a grant through the first round of the federal CARES Act that he said will keep the Marquis dormant-but-solvent through the end of this year. The unplanned hibernation has allowed Wells to make some improvements to the theater space, which offers some live shows in...
Gov. Phil Scott’s decision this past Friday to ban inter-household gatherings, while allowing schools to remain open and limited access to restaurants and bars, prompted rare public pushback among Vermonters who have been model-citizens in obeying the dictates Vermont has successfully imposed since the pandemic’s outbreak in March. Numerous letters on this page and others in today’s paper attest to that displeasure. We agree the complete ban of inter-household gatherings is stringent and may invite disregard of the state order, rather than the compliance Vermonters have demonstrated for the...

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Addison County Independent