pandemic

The American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and Vermont Medical Society join Governor Scott and the Vermont Department of Health in calling on Vermonters to refrain from any social gathering in order to protect and prioritize essential services like schools, child care, and health care as we see rates of community transmission of COVID-19 rise.  The new restriction on multi-household gatherings is based on epidemiology or systematic observations of how the virus is spreading in our communities. Since October 1, 71% of cases associated with an...
I have been a strong supporter of Gov. Scott’s efforts to curb COVID-19 in Vermont. But with his most recent dictum, something has gone awry. I hope the governor and his team will consider another approach. It makes zero sense to me that under the new dictates, I can still go into a marginally ventilated restaurant and hang out with unmasked strangers while eating and drinking as much alcohol as the restaurant is willing to serve me in a marginally ventilated indoor space for the entire evening. Or I can go into a gym with others who are exercising and pump iron and exhale vigorously for...

Gov. Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine. Photo courtesy of VTDigger.org
Gov. Phil Scott on Friday said the state is “at a tipping point” with the recent influx of COVID-19 cases. He announced a ban on inter-household gatherings, the closure of bars and social clubs, and the cancellation of recreational sports leagues as the COVID-19 case count rises in Vermont. The governor said that too many Vermonters have not been following the state’s guidance on social distancing and limiting in-person gatherings. He, also indicated that Halloween parties contributed to the current rise in coronavirus cases. “Given our recent case growth, we have no choice but to restrict...
MIDDLEBURY — As COVID-19 cases rose to record levels in Vermont, Middlebury College announced Thursday evening it will move to a mandatory campus quarantine beginning 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, and continuing until students depart for the year on Saturday, Nov. 21. “Simply put, while we currently have no known cases of COVID-19 on campus, it is now imperative that we take ... steps to ensure the safest possible departure for students and to protect the entire community,” wrote Chief Health Officer Mark Peluso, Environmental Health & Safety Officer Jen Kazmierczac and Acting Dean of Students...

VERMONT AMERICAN LEGION Commander Ron LaRose of Bristol says social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic has hurt Legion posts, though Addison County posts are financially strong enough to weather this storm.
ADDISON COUNTY — As is the case with all nonprofit organizations, American Legion posts locally and statewide have had to take steps to continue to fulfill their mission during the COVID-19 pandemic. Department of Vermont American Legion Commander Ron LaRose, a member of Bristol Post 19, described that mission in an interview: “We’re in the business of helping veterans young and old, and taking care of the youth in our community.” There’s no question the pandemic has compromised the ability of the state’s 42 Legion posts to provide their customary level of charitable support to host...

VERGENNES LIONS TREASURER Donna Corcoran, center, recently received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award, the highest award given by Lions Clubs International Foundation. Photo/Larry Simino
VERGENNES — Even with the restrictions of COVID-19, the Vergennes Lions are busy helping the needy and trying to raise needed funds. Last month, several members installed an accessible ramp on a home in Monkton to allow the resident to leave their home. They also helped purchase eyeglasses for a couple of individuals, and donated some funds to help a local youth install a net at the high school as part of his effort to become an Eagle Scout. The club has been selling vehicle raffle tickets, and the lucky recipients were drawn at last week’s meeting held at Porky’s Barbeque in New Haven. The...

RONNIE ROMANO PLAYS a keyboard in the “Cathedral Studio” at the bottom of the Elderly Services stairway with a group of seniors watching and enjoying the music via a Zoom connection. Photo courtesy of Ken Schoen
MIDDLEBURY — If there was one silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was that arrived at the beginning of spring, when people of all ages could at least congregate outdoors with appropriate face attire and social distancing. But a Vermont winter is nipping at our collective heels, prompting concerns about how seniors will be able to interact with other people and access diversions when their universe becomes distilled to just a few rooms at home. “It’s not a happy picture,” said Joanne Corbett, executive director at Elderly Services Inc., known as ESI. “We, at ESI, feel like what you’re...

ELISE BLAIR USES gardening around her Middlebury home as a way to stay busy, especially during the quarantine, which is causing many seniors to experience isolation. Blair also hosts zoom classes through Elderly Services, which she finds to be just as rewarding for herself as for her peers. Independent photo/Alexa Lapiner
MIDDLEBURY — The isolation of this pandemic can feel at times unmanageable. That can especially be the case for seniors who cannot leave their homes or visit with loved ones. Elise Blair, a friendly face in the Middlebury community (and beyond) shares some possible ways to escape that isolation. Elise is a retired psychoanalyst but still a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Although retired from daily practice, she still provides support by teaching classes on aging for Elderly Services participants and hosting a caregiving group at the Congregational Church of Middlebury. The...
ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County Home Health and Hospice, which has more than half a century of accumu- lated know-how under its belt, is rolling out some new or expanded services that appeal to an older demographic. During the pandemic ACHHH, an inde- pendent nonprofit Visiting Nurses Associ- ation, has cared for approximately 20 CO- VID-19 positive patients in their homes, following CDC, Medicare and Vermont Department of Health guidelines. In addi- tion to continuing to provide patient care during the pandemic, ACHHH has devel- oped several innovative practices designed to better care for...
MONTPELIER — Thirty-four farms across the state received a combined total of $73,000 in June through the Vermont Land Trust’s new program for farmers affected by COVID-19 and the associated economic downturn. Loss of restaurant sales, increased distribution costs, and lower milk prices, among other challenges posed by the pandemic, have placed many farmers in dire economic straits. “Farmers in our state are struggling and they need our help,” said Nick Richardson, president and CEO of the Vermont Land Trust. “This is a moment for all of us to help them recover from this crisis, in return...

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Addison County Independent